It is estimated that more than 5000 pedestrians lose their lives on South African roads every year. In addition, most of the incidents occur in urban areas. What is even more worrisome is the fact that speeding is said to be the main cause for such accidents, with many happening near places where children are most likely to cross roads at or near schools. Road speed ramps can help to reduce the number of accidents related to speeding in urban areas. Choosing the right speed ramps, however, is essential to ensure effectiveness and safety.

The metal speed ramps now available are suitable for parking lots, residential estates, roads within school grounds, and around hospitals. However, the normal zebra-stripe asphalt and concrete bumps, which are larger, are more effective where vehicles are more likely to travel at slightly higher speeds. Before considering the types of speed ramps for sale, consider whether traffic-calming devices are necessary in the specific area. Any unnecessary obstacles can cause more harm than good. Only where it is thus essential to calm traffic should it even be a consideration to install such devices. A traffic-calming device such as bumps or speed ramps in front of a residential driveway inconveniences the homeowner and it can put them or other road users at risk.

The type of speed ramps you select must be:

  • Durable;
  • Low on maintenance;
  • Able to withstand the elements;
  • Able to handle the traffic flow and weights of the vehicles that use the road;
  • Safe and not pose a safety risk for users;
  • Highly visible in poor light and at night;
  • Easy to install;
  • Difficult to steal or vandalise and
  • Relevant for the particular location where it is installed.

Places where speed ramps are useful include but are not limited to:

  • Pedestrian crossings at schools.
  • Pedestrian crossings at hospitals and retirement villages.
  • Residential estates where children are likely to play in or near the road.
  • Entrances and exits to enclosed areas such as corporate parks, hospitals, shopping malls, and airport parking lots where access-control measures are applied or where motorists must be prevented from speeding.
  • Residential areas where motorists are known for exceeding the speed limits for the area.
  • Near sports stadiums where spectators are likely to cross the road.
  • Roads in residential areas where its purpose is to limit the use of a street as a thoroughfare.

Reports have shown that a 1,6-km/h reduction in speed in urban areas can reduce accidents by up to 5%*. However, the reduction in the rate depends on the average speed and surface type. Here are more aspects to look for when buying speed ramps to improve road safety.

Safety Aspects

Consider how many incidents with accompanying injuries have taken place in the past on the particular stretch of road. How many of the injured parties were pedestrians? How many were motorcyclists and cyclists? What were the main reasons for the incidents? Did speeding vehicles play a role? It is possible that visibility could have played a role? If no incidents have been reported but you wish to prevent any such incidents in a residential estate, are there not perhaps other ways in which the traffic can be calmed or to prevent pedestrians or cyclists from being injured? If metal ramps are to be installed, at what speed can a vehicle safely pass over them?

Traffic Patterns

First, determine the average speed of travel. Also, determine the types of vehicles using the road. Is it a main transportation route or is it in a residential area? Is it a parking lot or an enclosed area? What are the day- and night-use patterns? How many pedestrian crossings are there? How many cyclists use the path and at what times of the day?

Physical Attributes of The Area Where You Want to Install the Traffic-Calming Devices

What is the width of the road where you want to install a speed ramp? Also consider whether there is provision for a walkway or bicycle route, where the speed ramp will be located, and whether it is close to a hospital, school, retirement centre, shopping centre, or emergency services.

Benefits to The Environment

Consider whether the particular type of speed ramp will help to reduce traffic noise. Also consider the distance of the school, house, or retirement centre from where the device is to be installed. How many residents, shops, or places of business are affected by speeding vehicles and can the particular type of ramp be installed at the specific location to reduce the number of vehicles using the road – or at least reduce the speed of the vehicles?

Cost-Effectiveness of The Particular Speed Ramps

Consider the purchase and installation costs. What are the maintenance requirements and costs for the particular type of traffic-calming device? How often must it be painted? How many years will it last before a replacement or complete reconstruction will be needed? What are the main benefits and disadvantages of the particular type of ramp compared with other types for sale?

The Main Users of the Road or Area Where the Speed Ramps are to Be Installed

List all the route or area users – pedestrians such as school-going children, young pre-school kids, senior citizens, and disabled persons and traffic such as cyclists, motorcyclists, trucks, taxis, passenger vehicles, and emergency vehicles. Armed with answers to the above questions, you can approach a supplier of speed ramps. Keep in mind that all types of traffic-calming devices must meet specific safety and manufacturing regulations. Also, consider whether it is a public or private area. If it is a public road, public participation will be needed before installation of the traffic-calming device can be approved. In addition, you must ensure that the installation is done in line with the local municipality policies for land-use management and urban development.

Buy only from a reputable supplier of road-safety products. Get in touch with us for more information on the types of speed ramps that we offer for sale.