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Monday, April 19, 2021

Qatari pitches new speed bumps to boost safety, reduce vehicle damage

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Qatar government officials are considering rolling out a new type of speed bump that its inventor said would force motorists to slow down but curb the potential damage to a car’s undercarriage posed by traditional speed bumps.

Jassim Al Khenji, 49, told Doha News that he has developed an “elastic speed bump” that could be used on local residential roads and in school zones.

Equipped with steel springs, the device is depressed by the weight of a slow-moving car at it passes over the speed bump, which then returns to its original position.

Jassim Al Khenji's elastic speed bump.
Jassim Al Khenji’s elastic speed bump.
However, vehicles traveling at faster speeds would collide with the speed bump while it’s still in the raised position, causing an uncomfortable ride for passengers.

Speed bumps, humps and ramps are traffic-calming measures aimed at encouraging motorists to drive at slower speeds. However, they can damage vehicles – especially sports cars that are low to the ground – if they are too tall or are positioned at too steep of an angle.

According to Al Khenji, speed bumps are across the country vary widely in terms of their effectiveness:

“The speed bumps in Doha are random, with no unified shape or form,” he says, adding that he has seen drivers disrupting traffic by attempting to drive around the bumps or cross it diagonally.

Illegal speed bumps

Qatar’s public works authority, Ashghal, does have some standards for both speed bumps and their flat-topped cousins, “speed tables.”

These can be seen at Hamad International Airport and have a wide flat surface to facilitate pedestrian crossing.

An Ashghal official previously told Al Raya that speed bumps should be no less than 200m from one another, be colored black and yellow and preceded by warning signs for motorists.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.
But Al Khenji said one of the problems is that not all of the speed bumps in Qatar are constructed by the government.

“Many of the speed bumps are built (illegally) without the knowledge of the traffic authority or (Baladiya),” he said.

An Ashghal-affiliated committee was established last month to tackle the problem of individuals and businesses building unauthorized speed bumps, according to Al Raya.

There are no official statistics on the number of speed bumps in Qatar, but Al Khenji estimated that the country has approximately 5,000 of them.

Tests planned

Al Khenji, a father of four who would tinker with TVs and other electronics in his father’s repair shop as a boy, already has several safety and security inventions to his name.

Jassim Al Khenji wins gold medal in Kuwait.
Jassim Al Khenji wins gold medal in Kuwait.
They include an emergency runway pad for airplanes with malfunctioning landing gear, which won a gold medal at the 2013 International Invention Fair in the Middle East.

The 49-year-old accountant by trade said his speed bumps have received positive feedback from government officials and been tentatively approved for limited testing on Qatar’s streets.

“As an idea, it’s excellent, but we need to experiment it and see how practical it will be,” he said.

He added that steel springs are readily available in Doha and can be easily maintained, installed and changed, which would make a wide-scale rollout easy.

He also argued that his solution is cost-effective. His prototypes are priced at approximately QR6,000 (US$1,648) each and are currently being built by local firm Shift Rubber free of charge.

If manufacturing were ramped up to commercial quantities, Al Khenji said he believes the cost could be brought down to roughly QR1,000 ($275) each, which is close to the price of a conventional speed bump.

While Al Khenji said his invention is unique, a similar concept – albeit with a high-tech twist – has been tested in the UK and the US.

So-called “green” speed bumps generate electricity as vehicles press down on the traffic-calming devices, but come at a much steeper price of between £20,000 (QR112,517) and £55,000 (QR309,340) for each one, the Guardian reported in 2009.

Thoughts?

29 COMMENTS

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Blue
Blue
5 years ago

Can it increase in height when it sees Mr.Landcruiser? If it does break the land cruiser, you can name it SpeedBreaker and we all would be thank full.

Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago
Reply to  Blue

One of my cars is a landcruiser, and if that ever happened to my baby because of your suggestion, I would personally find you and use your back as a SpeedBreaker for my truck.

Blue
Blue
5 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Proved my point – with that attitude how you can be given a vehicle to handle is surprising…..worse it’s the land cruiser…..generic attitude of all its drivers.

Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago
Reply to  Blue

It’s the right attitude for dealing with scum.

Blue
Blue
5 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Nice!!! Is that what you see in the mirror?……feel sorry for you….frustrated, full of anger…

Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago
Reply to  Blue

Yes, I see scum like you in my rear view mirror every day.

Chilidog
Chilidog
5 years ago

Other mysterious and foreign ideas for increasing traffic safety are known as “speed limits,” “uniform law enforcement,” “safety belts,” “child car seats,” “police that actually do their jobs,” and “respect for others.”

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Why do you come to my country and try to make it your country. If you are not happy with us killing you then leave. P.S. Please loan us your military so we can sort out all our problems.

Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

People who “kill” you aren’t the ones asking for your military support…just saying.

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

You have not understood the comment correctly.

Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

How so?

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

The killing refers to people being killed on the roads, not in directed attacks.

Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

Yeah that’s what I meant, people who drive recklessly in Qatar are not the ones asking for foreign troops to be stationed here.

Gaga
Gaga
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

More speed bumps means more gentlemen wearing thobes will frequently flash their headlights and honking their horns.

Saleem
Saleem
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

I agree with most of what you said, but how are the traffic laws not uniformly enforced? It’s not like poor driving from an expat will receive a different response than that from a local, both are often ignored.

Chilidog
Chilidog
5 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Fair enough that “uniform law enforcement” and “police that actually do their jobs” could be seen as contradictory. I have no statistics regarding uniform law enforcement, only personal anecdotal experience:
– Recently was driving near a cop (on his phone and eating while driving) when a 4 digit LC blew by us and the cop didn’t bat an eye. Then a smaller pickup driven by a South Asian came by just a little faster than us and he immediately pulled him over.
– Boasting from local colleagues about getting traffic fines erased.
– Haven’t ever seen an expensive SUV or other expensive kind of car pulled over when they are commonly the worst offenders on the road (regardless of nationality of driver). Have seen other types of vehicles being stopped (albeit it is quite rare).
– But I will say that it was actually nice to hear from the car parade article that the reason they were switching to Katara is because the police were fining them for breaking laws.

Student
Student
5 years ago

The speed bumps of the variety shown in the photo are the least effective in my opinion. We have them at Qatar University and people blast over them. When you haven’t worked for what you drive, you really couldn’t care less what happens to its suspension.

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago
Reply to  Student

Well as Halfmanarmy pointed out to me he gets paid 40,000 QAR to go to work and sleep. National vision going well there. Still better than him getting involved and costing the company more money.

Enceladus
Enceladus
5 years ago

Illegal speed bumps? Try the new airport road bicycle track! Never seen such thing in my life.

Jim
Jim
5 years ago
Reply to  Enceladus

LOL. I took my road bike there… and ended up mountain biking instead!!!! Then again I know they put those dirt hills because they’re still doing some landscaping, but a warning would have been nice 😛

Enceladus
Enceladus
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Same here… But there’s a real one (speed bump) at the bike track reaching the end of it near the airport parking. Surrealistic.

Newbie
Newbie
5 years ago

What the……. They are just concern for the vehicle to have lesser damage. LIFE is not their primary concern.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
5 years ago

You see this sort of vested interest all the time, just like top police own the towing & breakdown companies in Doha. Obviously since he’s in MOI purchasing, he’s seen an opportunity to make money out of road safety. They use their position and wasta and then you see Qatar exclusively using a local rubber speed bump, that the rest of the world just wouldn’t touch. 10 years later they are taken out because the local producer maintain or support it, etc etc. sorry to be a Debbie Downer but I see a whole lot of these local “inventors” in my office who put pressure on gvt decision makers without doing the necessary research, long term testing to international standards (money money money). They are just in for quick bucks.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago

Deleting for attack.

Observant One
Observant One
5 years ago

They will just drive around them as usual.

DEEM
DEEM
5 years ago

we tried these in the uk a couple of decades ago…. they dont work

Michael L
Michael L
5 years ago

This is nonsense when the Peninsula reported last week that at a seminar with Qatari youth police reassured the participants that fines for certain offences would be reduced and it would not be tolerated if officers dealt with motorists unfairly !!!! File under ‘you couldn’t make it up’ …

Paul
Paul
5 years ago

I hope it comes with a good maintenance contract! After the first sandstorm those things will be like the nasty speed humps in the cover Ikea parking…

greylag
greylag
5 years ago

They seem to be building speed bumps everywhere, but not maintaining the roads or improving them.

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