Automatic traffic counters usually come in the form of two pneumatic rubber tubes, which are laid on either side of a carriageway. The tubes are connected to a separate recording device. Traffic counts may be performed on both busy and desolate roads. These are some advantages of using automatic counters for data collection on UK roads.
Save Money On Traffic Counts
On roads with little traffic, performing a manual count is a costly task. It makes more sense to set up an automatic counter to enjoy an accurate and affordable reading. Hand tally counters are very outdated but are still used by some companies offering manual counts. Automatic counter systems are quick and easy for professional installers to set up. However, manual counts are not always available on demand.
Improve Count Accuracy On Busy Roads
If a carriageway is especially busy and there are multiple lanes, manual counting is difficult. There are inaccuracy issues to think about. The solution is to use automatic counters, which offer a high level of accuracy.
Avoid Weather And Safety Issues
Sending road workers out in harsh weather conditions is often unnecessary. People performing manual counts may stand by roads or sit in parked vehicles. This still poses a danger at night and in harsh weather conditions when visibility is poor. They may be hit by motorists even if they are wearing proper reflective gear. An automatic counter is durable, and permanent or temporary systems are designed to withstand rain, snow and heat.
Measure Vehicle Weights
Some automatic traffic counters are designed to measure the weights of vehicles. For roads with weight limitations, this proves useful in identifying a problem with lorries wrongfully using the roads. Also, weight measurements are important for bridges to estimate the total weight of traffic at different times. If traffic is frequently backed up on a bridge, an automatic counter with weight detection is a valuable measurement asset.
Measure Vehicle Speed
Many automatic counters also measure the speed of passing vehicles. Not all systems are 100 percent accurate. However, they provide a useful look at mass data to see if there are speeding issues. Since traffic cameras have been poorly received due to their imposing appearance, automatic counters that measure speed provide a less unsightly solution.
Limitations Of Automatic Traffic Counter
Although automatic counters are cost-effective solutions and offer a wide array of benefits, it is important to know what functions they cannot perform. They do not provide data about constraints in carriageways. Also, they do not provide distinction for some high-speed vehicles such as emergency responders. Automatic counters do not provide data about the weather conditions or the conditions of the roads. For these issues that require the use of visual observation, either cameras or manual surveys are necessary.
How Automatic Traffic Counters Are Used
Counters are installed when an agency or company has proper authority to measure traffic. For temporary measurement, they are often installed for a week. They operate 24 hours per day to provide a comprehensive report. In some cases, traffic counters may be installed permanently in some areas that warrant a continual need for them.
Although they may be used to collect data for monitoring roads, automatic counters are especially useful for both large and small developments. When planning to build or expand roads, engineers need to see data about the volume of traffic. Numbers can help determine how many lanes there should be, weights help determine structural demands and speeds also help determine construction demands as well as surfacing needs.