Road Speed Bumps vs. Speed Humps: Understanding the Differences for Optimal Traffic Calming


Traffic calming is a crucial aspect of road safety, particularly in areas with high pedestrian activity or where speeding is a concern. Two common tools used to achieve this are road speed bumps – also known as speed ramps – or speed humps. While they share the same goal of slowing down traffic, there are interesting differences between them that make each suitable for specific situations.


Road Speed Bumps: A Flexible Solution

Road Speed Bumps

Road speed bumps – or speed ramps – are temporary traffic-calming devices. Typically made from recycled PVC, rubber, or high-grade plastic, they are lightweight and portable, and can be positioned or removed at will. This allows for easy installation and removal, making them ideal for situations where traffic calming needs are temporary.


5 Common Applications for Temporary Road Speed Bumps


Here are a few common applications for temporary road speed bumps:

1. School Zones: Protecting children near schools is always a top priority. Speed ramps can be strategically placed around schools during arrival and dismissal times to encourage drivers to slow down and respect pedestrian traffic.


2. Public Events: When events are held in areas with increased pedestrian traffic, road speed bumps can be used to create a safe environment for both attendees and passing traffic.


3. Gated Communities: Speed ramps effectively manage traffic flow within gated communities, promoting safety and security for residents. Vehicles need to adhere to speed limits and drivers need to be aware of pedestrians.


4. Construction and Road Works: These ramps help to maintain a safe speed around construction zones, protecting workers, pedestrians, and road users alike.


5. Law Enforcement and Emergency Response: Road speed ramps can be quickly deployed at roadblocks, accident sites, and during emergencies to control traffic flow and ensure safety.


The portability of road speed ramps allows for easy relocation as needs change. This makes them a versatile solution for various traffic-calming applications. Moreover, their bright yellow and black contrasting colours ensure high visibility for drivers, even at night.


Speed Humps: A Permanent Traffic Calming Measure


Speed humps, on the other hand, are permanent traffic-calming features typically constructed from asphalt or concrete. They are embedded into the road surface and designed to slow down traffic over longer distances. They are more permanent compared to speed bumps or speed ramps. Speed humps are generally used in areas where consistent traffic calming is required, for example:


  • Residential Neighbourhoods: Speed humps are a common sight in residential areas to deter speeding and promote pedestrian safety, particularly near playgrounds and parks.


  • High Pedestrian Areas: In areas with high pedestrian traffic, such as shopping districts or markets, speed humps help to create a safer environment for pedestrians.


While speed humps offer a permanent solution, their installation requires road closures and disruptions. This makes them less suitable for temporary traffic-calming needs.


Choosing the Right Option


The choice between road speed bumps and speed humps depends on the specific needs of the situation. Consider the following factors:


  • Duration of Traffic Calming Needed: If traffic calming is required for a short-term event or project, road speed ramps are the clear choice due to their portability.


  • Traffic Volume and Speed: For areas with high traffic volume or a persistent speeding problem, speed humps may be more effective due to their permanent nature and ability to slow down traffic over a longer distance.


  • Visibility and Safety: Both road speed ramps and speed humps should be clearly marked with bright yellow paint and reflective materials to ensure driver visibility, especially at night.


Do It Right with Armco Superlite


At Armco Superlite, we are the leading supplier of high-quality road speed bumps and speed ramps in southern Africa. Our durable and portable speed bumps are manufactured from tough, recycled PVC complete with end caps, making them an eco-friendly choice. We offer a variety of lengths to meet your specific traffic-calming needs.


Whether you require a temporary solution for a public event or a long-term access security strategy for your neighbourhood, we have the expertise and products to help you create a safer environment for motorists and pedestrians alike. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation!