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Traffic Survey in Modern Africa

Traffic funding increases and road network expansion across the African continent have highlighted the need for better understanding of road conditions and usage. Effective road networks hinge upon the information from which decisions are made. Understanding vehicle flows, speeds and classes provides valuable insight into a wide range of factors which influence road management decisions. MetroCount products detect axles on the road, a methodology proven to be the most accurate and reliable way to gather traffic information. Traffic study durations range from week long temporary studies, to a permanently installed longitudinal road analysis. Both of these types of traffic survey will continue to play a critical role in shaping the roads of modern Africa.

With a strong emphasis on traffic data filtering into African nations in recent years, MetroCount products have been proliferating in a number of countries. MetroCount units classify vehicles extremely accurately, identifying classes from motor bikes right through to articulated heavy vehicles. This information helps to understand the load bearing on a road and assist in maintenance and upgrade plans.

Traffic speed data can be utilised to identify the 85th percentile speed guiding decisions to modify driver behaviour through traffic calming and enforcement measures. In a recent campaign, the Kenyan government engaged MetroCount MC5600 temporary survey units to identify speed issues on their major highways. The MC5600 units will give the authorities a clear picture of the peak speeding periods which will help encourage safer speeds through targeted enforcement and education policies.

Longitudinal traffic studies provide key information and trends to assist in planning upgrades and maintenance. Year on year data can also be used to identify traffic growth patterns. MetroCount permanent survey sites are installed on major arterial roads and can be automated to electronically provide traffic information to managers at a regular interval. Permanent sites provide information on headway and congestion, which helps the traffic engineer understand peak road usage conditions. Determining the situations that lead up to a period of heavy congestion can allow road managers to better plan for these events and manage strategies to alleviate the pressure on the roads.

MetroCount has been a leading global supplier of traffic counting equipment for over 25 years due to a track record of durable and accurate products. With uptake in over 110 countries, vehicle classifiers have become a key tool in planning advanced road networks. The relative cost of a traffic survey when compared to the cost of road works it informs, make traffic surveys one of the most cost effective processes in the expansion of road networks.


Louis Van Senden

Email: [email protected]