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CHAPTER 1: Traffic Studies

Example of Spot Speed Study


A spot speed study was conducted along a state road experiencing
frequent road accidents. The posted speed limit of the road is 60
km/h. The spot speed data collected are shown in the following
table: Analyse the spot speed data & Present the findings of this
study.
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Mean speed = 9085/130


= 69.9 km/h
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Median speed

L = lower limit of the class in which the median lies


n = total number of observations
f L = cumulative number of observation up to the
lower limit of the class in which the median lies
f m = number of observations in the class in which
the median lies
C = speed interval of the group
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Pace
Pace = the 10 km/h range in speed in which the highest
number of observation was recorded

Therefore, the pace


is 62 72 km/h and
30% of the vehicles
are in pace.
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85th Percentile Speed
The 85th percentile speed is the speed at or below which 85
percent of the motorists drive on a given road unaffected by
slower traffic or poor weather.
This speed indicates the speed that most motorists on the
road consider safe and reasonable under ideal conditions.
It is a good guideline for the appropriate speed limit for that
road.
The 85th percentile speed as obtained from the cumulative
frequency distribution curve shown below is 88 km/h.
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Standard Deviation
The description of central tendency is not sufficient to define a
distribution, therefore a measure of dispersion or spread is
required.

Where
f = frequency of observations in the particular class
x = mid-point of each class
n = total number of observations = f
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Findings from this spot speed study:

Mean speed = 69.9 km/h


Median speed = 68.1 km/h
Pace = 62 72 km/h
Percentage of vehicles in pace = 30%
85th percentile speed = 88.0 km/h
Driving over the speed limit = 95 / 130 = 73.1%
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Conclusion:
It can be concluded that speeding is a problem at this
location and may have contributed to road accidents which
have occurred at this location.
This is supported by the results of the findings which show
that mean, median, pace and 85th percentile speeds have all
exceeded the 60 km/h speed limit.
In addition, 30% of the drivers drive at speeds ranging
between 62 72 km/h, and 85% of them drive at 88.0 km/h
or below. 95 individual vehicles, or 73.1% of the vehicles,
were detected to have driven over the speed limit.
CHAPTER 1: Traffic Studies

Suggest ways to control


vehicle speeds at this location?
p/s: kahoot.it
Class exercise:
A table show set of speed data collected on a rural highway in Malaysia during
a speed study. The posted speed limit of the road is 60 km/h.
a) Determine mean speed, median speed, pace, 85th-percentile speed and
standard deviation
b) As an engineer, give your justification based on your findings about the
speeding at this rural highway.

Speed class Frequency, f


km/h
40 44 0
45 49 5
50 54 13
55 59 27
60 64 50
65 69 66
70 74 72
75 79 52
80 84 24
85 89 15
90 94 5