As the name would suggest, traffic calming devices use physical goods and other measures to improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike.
As speed is the primary factor in most vehicle accidents, it’s known to increase both risk and severity. As drivers move faster, they have less time to respond to road conditions, and any resulting collision causes more damage. To help combat this, one of the most popular and effective ways to do so is via traffic calming.
When done well, traffic calming is a strategy that controls the traffic volume and vehicle speed, reduces accident rates, minimises noise levels, combats air pollution and even aids fuel consumption. The concept is widely embraced as a form of local area traffic management, particularly as a means to boost safety in residential neighbourhoods.
While traffic calming is a broad term that covers a wide variety of ideas, there are also a number of traffic calming devices and products specifically manufactured to aid road safety – but what are a few of the more notable ones?
The Most Popular Traffic Calming Devices In Australia
By definition, traffic calming is what we call the deliberate slowing of traffic in residential areas, by building road humps or other obstructions. Councils will often install devices such as speed platforms, roundabouts, traffic islands and kerb build-outs to provide a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists, discourage non-local traffic in neighbourhood streets, and moderate vehicle speeds.
Although a traffic calming project can be as straightforward as minor modifications on a specific street to a more comprehensive engineering redesign of road networks, third party traffic calming devices are often deployed to slow cars down to speeds anywhere between 10 to 40 kilometres per hour. While the options are vast, three of the most popular tools to do so include the following.
Chicanes – A chicane is a serpentine curve in a road, added by design rather than dictated by geography. Chicanes add extra turns and although they are often used in motor racing, they’re also a popular traffic calming device commonly seen in many suburban and neighbourhood streets as a means to purposefully slow traffic for safety, particularly in new housing estates.
Rumble Bars – In conjunction with rumble strips, rumble bars are a vehicle-friendly driver-alert system, suitable for use as lane dividers or delineators, merging lanes, median strips and crossing guides. As the name would suggest, rumble bars almost force drivers to pay attention to their surroundings thanks to the “rumbling” vibration through the tyres, and be aware of any upcoming hazards.
Speed Humps – When properly deployed in a strategic position, road bumps and speed humps can be used to prevent traffic from regaining speed or developing it in the first place in suburban neighbourhoods. In turn, this provides a safer environment for both vehicles, residents and pedestrians alike, and has been proven to reduce the number of accidents in residential areas.
In addition, other popular traffic calming devices used in Australia include speed cushions, speed tables, lane dividers and bollards. While many of these products were once manufactured using asphalt, rubber is now the material of choice to not only improve the product’s lifespan, but to encourage the use of recycled materials in their production.
In Australia, road safety is an extremely serious business – and it should be. Although getting behind the wheel of a car is something that many of us do multiple times per day, the likelihood of an accident is sadly on the rise.
However, installing the right types of traffic calming devices can go a long way when it comes to taking a proactive approach. If you’re not quite sure where to start, it’s always a good idea to partner with the experts – but where do you find them?
Partnering With The Road Safety Professionals
At Speed Humps Australia, we’ve spent 20 years focusing on one thing: to provide one style of product, and to do it exceptionally well. We have worked tirelessly to develop specifications that do not fade or deteriorate, are easy to install, and are made from high-quality, recycled rubber for minimal environmental impact.
With just a handful of our clients around the nation including McDonalds, KFC, Main Roads, Westfield, United Petroleum, Mining Companies and numerous Local Governments, our rumble bars, speed humps and wheel stops have been purposefully designed to truly go the distance.
As our design and production is all handled in house and supplied Australia wide, get in touch with us today to request a quote or discuss how we can help with providing a tailored solution to your unique project requirements.