Everything you need to know about speed cushions!

A speed cushion is a piece of significant speed control equipment installed in a slow zone area to provide pedestrians safety against speeding vehicles.

Speed cushions are designed keeping in mind the dimensions of vehicles. They allow emergency vehicles, buses, trucks, cycles, and bicycles to move without slowing down. However, when it comes to passenger-car movement, they force them to reduce their speed by around 20 to 25 miles per hour.

Speed cushions are used all over the world. They are found in different types that differ from each other based on their material, colour, size, and other features.

This article explains all you need to know about speed cushions.

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What is a speed cushion?

A speed cushion is a mounded structure that forces vehicular drivers to diminish their speed around 20 to 25 miles per hour (mph). They are manufactured with the help of traffic-engineering techniques by transportation engineers. They are manufactured in variable dimensions, but these dimensions are according to the axle dimension of vehicles used in a country.

The width of a speed cushion is always smaller than the width of large-axel vehicles, and it is always larger than the width of a passenger car. Here are some FAQ speed cushions that you should know to learn about them.

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Will they damage a car?

Speed cushions and other traffic calming measures are only a few inches tall. They do not damage cars that move over them at a slow speed. However, they can be damaging if vehicles pass over them at an unsuitable high traffic speed.

Do speed cushions slow down emergency vehicles?

Speed cushions are not placed throughout the width of a roadway. Instead, these speed control and traffic control devices are placed at a certain distance between two speed cushions. An emergency vehicle such as an ambulance or fire truck has a wide axel; therefore, it can pass through the gaps without decreasing speed.

Are they effective in reducing vehicular speed?

Yes, like a speed bump, speed hump, and speed table, speed cushions are also very effective in slowing down speeding vehicles to promote pedestrian safety and traffic safety. Traffic data indicates that rumble strips, speed humps, traffic signals, pavement markings, speed signs, traffic cones, traffic signs, and stop signs have helped the department of transportation and federal highway administration make roads and streets safer.

Can I put recycled rubber speed cushions on my street?

Speed cushion installation is the responsibility of the local municipality. You should send them a petition to get speed traffic-management tools installed on your street.

What is the role of speed cushions?

Like other traffic-control equipment, the main role of speed cushions is to slow down traffic volume in order to prevent collision between a bicyclist, motorist, cyclist, school-bus and motor-vehicle driver.

The below points highlight the primary roles that a speed cushion plays.

Creates safer city streets and roads for all

Speeding can be deadly for both driver and walker. Installing speed cushions on the pedestrian crossings, crosswalks, stop signs, traffic signals, parking lots, speed limit signs, and parking signs can help create a friendly and nonviolent environment for all.

Reduces vehicular acceleration

Passenger cars reduce their speed when their flashing yellow light falls on the reflective surface of these tools, and they find speed cushions in their sight distance. It helps people moving on crossings, pavement, unmarked crosswalks, and sidewalks to crossroads more carefully while examining the movement of cars.

Helps in ordinance and police enforcement

A speed cushion and a speed bump on road can help traffic police make people follow basic speed-limit traffic laws even in their absence. They make people read variable message signs, crossing signs, construction signs, and signage displayed in residential areas, no-parking areas, school zones, and pedestrian zone.

Allows emergency vehicles to move smoothly

Speed cushions installed on traffic lanes do not make emergency vehicles change their speed. So, they go at their regular speed and reach the destination on time.

Does not prevent stormwater drainage

Because of gaps in speed cushions, water can move on the road like usual and reach the drainage without any hindrance.

The best traffic calming strategies in Europe!

Speed cushions and traffic calming measures have been used in European countries for several decades now. They are used in order to improve life quality and make people feel protected when walking on roads, ramps, intersections, roundabouts, cut-through, and railroad crossings.

Many road traffic safety strategies are implemented in Europe by committees and municipalities to reduce speeding that can be hazardous. Some of these strategies that control hazards are as following.

Intelligent crosswalks

Intelligent crosswalks are used in tourist areas where foot traffic is heavy. Renewable energy sources, traffic lights, and proper signs are used to guide pedestrians in the right way to protect them from vehicles exceeding their speed limits.

Superblock concept

According to the superblock concept, the internal space of the city centre is pedestrianized, meaning it is restricted for pedestrian use only. Other than walkers, emergency vehicles and logistic vehicles are allowed to move through such spaces.

Behavioural change through activities and curriculum in schools

Students and thought the right way of crossing a road through different activities and school curriculum. They learn how to use a school bus and more that helps them stay safe on roads and streets.

Traffic control devices

A variety of traffic control devices are installed in different areas according to the needs of residents. Speed cushions, speed tables, speed humps, and speed bumps are a few examples of such devices. They are installed strategically in areas where pedestrians and vehicles move close to each other.

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Different types of speed cushions

Speed cushions are found in various types. They are divided into different kinds based on their construction materials, colours, and other features. The procedure of speed cushion installation depends on the type of speed cushion. People choose a particular kind of speed cushions for their area according to the needs and location of their area.

Below are the most commonly available speed cushion kinds.

Asphalt speed cushions

As the name indicates, this kind of speed cushion is made up of asphalt. It is a kind of permanent speed cushion that cannot be replaced but can be destroyed and then removed.

Concrete speed cushions

Concrete is also used to make speed cushions. Such speed cushions are called concrete speed cushions. They are hand and dense. Like asphalt speed cushions, they are also permanent and cannot be removed once they have been installed.

Rubber speed cushions

Speed cushions that are made up of rubber are called rubber speed cushions. They have a soft surface compared to the above two kinds. Due to which they have less impact on vehicles. They are temporary because they can be removed and installed only in a few minutes.

Speed cushions having black and white markings

Speed cushions are marked with prominent paint colours in order to improve their visibility. Speed cushions that are marked with black and white paint are called speed cushions with black and white markings.

Speed cushions having yellow markings

Speed cushions are made more visible to drivers with the help of bright yellow paint markings. They are called speed cushions with yellow markings.

Guide to speed cushion installation

Using the right speed cushion installation procedure is important to ensure they are placed in the right way. This guide for speed cushions will highlight the necessary steps required to install speed cushions.

  • The first thing you need to do is prepare the area by marking the exact location with the help of white chalk. Then create holes in the right positions on the pavement and screw the lifting eyes in those holes.
  • In the next step, you will have to prepare an adhesive material that you will use to attach a rubber speed cushion to the pavement. Mix the material in a bucket them pour it over the desired area to create an even surface for speed cushion installation.
  • Now hold the speed cushion and place it over the glue bed that you created in the above step. Fix it to the place with the help of screws. Cover screws with durable coverings.
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Speed cushion regulations

After learning what are speed cushions, this section will now inform about the basic speed cushion regulations in the United Kingdom.

Speed cushions are installed according to certain rules and regulations that are made by municipalities and local governments. These regulations must be met during the installation of speed cushions in order to avoid legal trouble. Some of the speed cushion regulations are:

  • The maximum allowed height of a speed cushion is 80 mm.
  • The maximum allowed width of a speed cushion pad is 2000 mm.
  • The maximum length that speed cushions can have is 3700 mm.
  • The recommended width of distance or gap between two speed cushions is 1000 mm to 1200 mm.
  • They should not be placed in front of any drainage inlet and driveway.
  • Speed cushions should not be installed above manholes.
  • They should not be installed in a street whose residents have objections over its installation.

How can you get a speed cushion in your neighbourhood?

Local municipalities and governments control the installation of speed cushions in the neighbourhood.

If you think that accidents in your area are increasing due to the lack of speed cushions, then you will have to send a petition to the local government to get speed cushions installed.

Before sending this petition, you need to take permission from other residents of the area related to the speed cushion installation.

You also need to check with the emergency vehicle and transportation vehicle route. Speed cushions should not be placed in areas where they can disturb the movement of large vehicles.

How to buy a right speed cushion?

When buying speed cushions, you should consider different factors to ensure you get the right product. Choosing the wrong product can result in the loss of time and investment. Things that you must consider when buying speed cushions are:

  • Material of speed cushions will determine their durability. You should buy a speed cushion of sturdy material so that you can enjoy the investment for many years to come. Choose asphalt or concrete if you are looking for permanent speed cushions, and choose rubber if you want temporary speed cushions.
  • Dimensions are another important thing that you need to consider. Choose a size that suits the size of the road they will be installed in.
  • The colour should be according to the lighting conditions of the selected area.
  • The brand is another factor you need to consider. There are many speed cushion brands. You need to consider the ones that are trusted, reliable and have an active customer support team.
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Check speed cushions in different countries

Speed cushions in different countries are used to perform the same function, i.e. control traffic making drivers travel at a safe speed in high foot traffic areas.

Speed cushions are used in North America even though emergency vehicles in North America have a narrower track width due to the presence of dual tires on either side. This can slow down emergency vehicles; therefore, the local municipality should discuss the matter before installing speed cushions with the emergency vehicle department.

Speed cushions have been installed in different cities in the UK for several years.

Here, emergency vehicles have a wide axel which allows them to move over speed cushions without reducing their speed.

Conclusion

Speed cushions are effective devices that make roads, streets, and other areas secure for pedestrians and drivers. They prevent unsafe behaviour of vehicle drivers in street parking, roadways, public-works zones, and other areas to ensure road safety.

Slow traffic is harmless to pedestrians compared to speeding vehicles. Municipalities install speed cushions to slow down traffic and allow walkers to crossroads and move on streets without fear of being hit by a car.

The local government installs speed cushions. If the rate of accidents and deaths due to accidents is elevating in your area, you should send a petition to your local government to install speed cushions and other tools to ensure public safety.

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