Rules on Speed Bumps

Updated February 21, 2017

Speed bumps are placed as a traffic calming measure to reduce vehicle speeds in areas with high pedestrian traffic. They can be asphalt applications, cement bumps or even rubber bumps that are installed directly into the road. Speed bumps differ from speed humps in that they are taller and stretch over a shorter distance in the road. Speed humps slow vehicles to speeds of about 25 miles per hour, while speed bumps require even lower speeds.


Speed bumps vary in height from 2 to 6 inches. They can measure from 1 to 3 feet from the front to the back. The height and length of a speed bump affects the amount of impact. Speed bumps that are higher and shorter in length produce a greater jolt on passing vehicles.


Speed bumps are intended to reduce speeds to as low as 5 miles per hour, so they are best suited for car parks that have low speed limits. Speed bumps might also be installed in residential areas with a lot of children or near schools. Speed bumps are best suited for areas where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less.


A speed bump should be indicated by a warning sign just before the driver reaches the bump. Speed bumps are usually painted with black and yellow stripes to draw a driver's attention before he reaches the bump. Without these indicators, drivers would hit the speed bump at higher speeds, resulting in a jolt to passengers and potential damage to the vehicle.


Speed bumps can be dangerous to drivers of two-wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles, scooters and even bicycles. Heavy work trucks can also be affected by the impact of speed bumps. If you live in an area that receives heavy snowfall, the ability to plough roads can be affected by speed bumps. A snow plough can be broken or damaged by speed bumps.

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About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.