Ultimate guide to speed bumps

Looking to purchase speed bumps? Or simply want to brush up on your knowledge using our helpful FAQs? Our detailed guide to speed bumps has you covered.

What is a speed bump?

Speed bumps are a traffic calming measure used to slow down the speed of vehicles. These are often used in residential or busy pedestrian areas, such as around schools. They can also be for worksites, or wherever traffic calming measures are required.

Speed bumps FAQs

Why do we have speed bumps?

Speed bumps, as well as other traffic calming measures such as speed cameras and speed control signs, are designed to slow down traffic – improving safety for drivers, pedestrians, passengers and other vehicles on the road.

How tall are speed bumps?

The average height of a speed bump is around 6.5 to 7.5cm, which is recommended by the government. However, in 1999, the Department for Transport set that speed bumps must be a minimum height of 2.5cm and maximum height of 10cm. This then means that drivers must slow down to a speed of around 5mph to navigate a speed bump without damage.

Who invented speed bumps?

Physicist, Arthur Holly Compton, invented ‘traffic control bumps’ in 1953, which are now known as speed bumps. He initially invented these to stop cars speeding when they drove past his university. However, traffic calming first appeared around 1906 in New Jersey, USA – when the average speed of an automobile reached 30mph.

How far apart should speed bumps be placed?

It’s recommended that speed bumps should be placed between 20 metres and 150 metres apart, however, the average spacing is normally around 70 metres apart. It should be noted that the spacing between speed bumps will influence the average speeds of the roads.

What’s the difference between speed bumps and speed humps?

Speed bumps are usually made of plastic or rubber, and are clearly marked with paint so drivers can spot them easily. They are usually as high as 10cm, and are typically used in parking lots, residential areas and private roads – as the height of the speed bump requires a significant reduction in speed.

Speed humps, on the other hand, are the large bumps which span the entire width of the road. Typically covered in tarmac, they appear to be more of a feature of the road. Although their maximum height is the same as speed bumps, typically, they’re not this tall – meaning speed reduction wouldn’t be quite as much as speed bumps.

Applying for speed bumps

Often, people wonder how to get speed bumps installed on their street in the UK. Applying for speed bumps is a process which will involve:

  • Organising your campaign
  • Determining whether speed humps are appropriate for your street
  • Communicating with your local council with your case of why your street should have speed humps
  • Getting your local council to act

For more information, visit your local council’s government website.

Where can I buy speed bumps?

Looking for speed bumps for private road, parking lots or worksite? Wherever traffic calming is required, Oxford Plastic’s EnduraRamp Speed Bumps are the perfect solution. Highly visible in black and yellow coloured material, the EnduraRamp is suitable for up to 44 tonne vehicles – designed to be installed on good condition concrete or asphalt.

For more information on buying speed bumps, get in touch with a member of expert team here at Oxford Plastics. Alternatively, browse our selection of signs, cones and speed bumps.

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