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BFC 32302

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:
Speed Class
(km/h)
40 44
45 49
50 54
55 59
60 64
65 69
70 74
75 79
80 84
85 89
90 94
95 99
100 104
105 109
110 114
Note:

1
3
4
5
3
3
1
1

Number of vehicles
Vehicle Class
2
3
4
2
1
3
1
3
3
1
2
4
2
4
6
5
8
7
6
5
5
5
3
2
7
2
1
3
1
5
3
1
4
1
1
3

Total
5
8
12
10
15
21
16
11
10
4
5
4
5
1
3

Vehicle class 1: Motorcycles


Vehicle class 2: Cars
Vehicle class 3: Vans and medium trucks
Vehicle class 4: Heavy trucks and buses

Analyse the spot speed data. Present the findings of this study.

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BFC 32302

Solution
Speed Class
(km/h)

Upper limit
(km/h)

40 44
45 49
50 54
55 59
60 64
65 69
70 74
75 79
80 84
85 89
90 94
95 99
100 104
105 109
110 114

39.5
44.5
49.5
54.5
59.5
64.5
69.5
74.5
79.5
84.5
89.5
94.5
99.5
104.5
109.5
114.5

Class
Midpoint
(km/h)

Number of
Observations

Percentage of
Total
Observation
0
3.85
6.15
9.23
7.69
11.54
16.15
12.31
8.46
7.69
3.08
3.85
3.08
3.85
0.77
2.31
Total = 100%

0
5
8
12
10
15
21
16
11
10
4
5
4
5
1
3
Total = 130

42
47
52
57
62
67
72
77
82
87
92
97
102
107
112

Cumulative
Percentage
0.00
3.85
10.00
19.23
26.92
38.46
54.62
66.92
75.38
83.08
86.15
90.00
93.08
96.92
97.69
100.00

Graphical Representation of Data:


1) Frequency Histogram

18

% of total observations

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

105 110

115

45 44

50 49

55 54

60 59

65 64

70 69

75 74

80 79

85 84

90 89

95 94
10 9
9
0

10 10
4
5

1
11
0 09

11
4

40

40

Speed (km/h)

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BFC 32302

2) Frequency Distribution Curve


18
16

% of total observations

14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
30 35

40 45

50 55

60 65

70 75 80

85 90

95 100 105 110 115 120

Speed (km/h)

3) Cumulative Frequency Distribution Curve


120
110

Cumulative percentage

100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
30

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

70

75

80

85

90

95

100 105 110 115 120

Speed (km/h)

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BFC 32302

Mean speed
Mean speed = fx
n
f = frequency of observations in the particular class
x = mid-point of each class
n = total number of observations = f
Speed Class
(km/h)
40 44
45 49
50 54
55 59
60 64
65 69
70 74
75 79
80 84
85 89
90 94
95 99
100 104
105 109
110 114

Class
Midpoint,
x
42
47
52
57
62
67
72
77
82
87
92
97
102
107
112

Number of
Observations,
f
5
8
12
10
15
21
16
11
10
4
5
4
5
1
3
Total = 130

fx

210
376
624
570
930
1407
1152
847
820
348
460
388
510
107
336
Total = 9085

Therefore, the mean speed = 9085 / 130 = 69.9 km/h

Median speed
n

2 fL
C
Median speed = L +
fm

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


n = total number of observations
fL = cumulative number of observation upto the lower limit of the class in
which the median lies
fm= number of observations in the class in which the median lies
C = speed interval of the group

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BFC 32302

Median lies in
this speed class

Speed Class
(km/h)

Lower limit
(km/h)

Number of
Observations

40 44
45 49
50 54
55 59
60 64
65 69
70 74
75 79
80 84
85 89
90 94
95 99
100 104
105 109
110 114

39.5
44.5
49.5
54.5
59.5
64.5
69.5
74.5
79.5
84.5
89.5
94.5
99.5
104.5
109.5

5
8
12
10
15
21
16
11
10
4
5
4
5
1
3
Total = 130

Cumulative
number of
observations
5
13
25
35
50
71
87
98
108
112
117
121
126
127
130

fL

fm

n
130

2 50

5 = 68.1 km/h
Therefore, the median speed = 64.5 +
21

Alternatively, the median can be obtained from the cumulative frequency distribution curve:

Pace
Pace = the 10 km/h range in speed in which the highest number of observation
was recorded

BFC 32302

18
16

% of total observations

14

Pace
12
10
8
6
4
2

62 km/h

72 km/h

0
30 35

40 45

50 55

60 65

70 75 80

85 90

95 100 105 110 115 120

Speed (km/h)
Therefore, the pace is 62 72 km/h and 30% of the vehicles are in pace.

30% of vehicles
in pace

BFC 32302
th

85 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.
th

The 85 percentile speed as obtained from the cumulative frequency distribution curve shown below
is 88 km/h.

Standard Deviation
The description of central tendancy is not sufficient to define a distribution, therefore a measure of
dispersion or spread is required.

Standard Deviation =

fx 2 (fx)2

n 1 n(n 1)

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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BFC 32302

Speed Class
(km/h)
40 44
45 49
50 54
55 59
60 64
65 69
70 74
75 79
80 84
85 89
90 94
95 99
100 104
105 109
110 114

Class
Midpoint,
X
42
47
52
57
62
67
72
77
82
87
92
97
102
107
112

1764
2209
2704
3249
3844
4489
5184
5929
6724
7569
8464
9409
10404
11449
12544

Therefore, the standard deviation =

Number of
Observations,
f
5
8
12
10
15
21
16
11
10
4
5
4
5
1
3
Total = 130

fx

fx

210
376
624
570
930
1407
1152
847
820
348
460
388
510
107
336
Total = 9085

8820
17672
32448
32490
57660
94269
82944
65219
67240
30276
42320
37636
52020
11449
37632
Total = 670095

670095
(9085)2

= 16.5 km/h
130 1 130(130 1)

An estimate of Standard Deviation can be obtained by using this formula:


Estimated standard deviation =

P85 P15
88 53
=
= 17.5 km/h
2
2

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BFC 32302

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%
th

85 percentile speed = 88.0 km/h


Driving over the speed limit = 95 / 130 = 73.1%

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.

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