speed-breakers and IRC guidelines

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By uday

On Tuesday, Congress Road experienced a sudden influx of new speed breakers. These were installed at three locations: Nanawadi Cross, Maratha Colony Cross, and near the Third Gate. Unfortunately, these asphalt speed breakers were not accompanied by any sign boards, a few of them have now been marked which caused a surprise bump for all the riders passing through.

As per the rules, all speed breakers must be painted with alternate black and white stripes. In addition, catseye can be used to enhance visibility at night if necessary.

It is essential that these speed breakers are immediately marked and signposted to prevent any further accidents. The safety of all road users must be a top priority, and we cannot afford to overlook such basic safety measures. Let us work together to ensure that our roads are safe and secure for everyone.

speed breaker

While speed breakers can help in slowing down traffic and reducing high speed crashes, an unplanned or illegal speed breaker can be as much (if not more) dangerous than the high speed crashes it is trying to prevent. It is very common across India to see speed breakers being laid haphazardly.

As per the law, Speed Breakers must be used only in urban areas for minor roads and residential areas. Speed Breakers are NOT recommended on high-speed roads or highways outside urban limits.

As per the Indian Road Congress guidelines, dated 12 June 1987, speed breakers must be placed on minor roads, only as follows:

Use of speed breakers is justified only in the following 3 circumstances:

1. T-intersections of minor roads with rural trunk highways, characterized by relatively low trac volumes on the minor road but very high average operating speed

and poor sight distances. Such locations have a high record of fatal accidents and as such a speed breaker on the minor road is recommended;

2. Intersections of minor roads with major roads, and mid-block sections in urban areas where it is desirable to bring down the speeds; and

3. Selected local streets in residential areas, schools, colleges or university campuses, hospitals, etc. Also in areas where traffic is observed to travel faster than the regulated or safe speed in the area.

Other place where these may be used include:

1. Any situation where there is a consistent record of accidents primarily attributed to the speed of the vehicles e.g. when hazardous sections follow a long tangent


2. Approaches to temporary diversions;

3. Approaches to weak or narrow bridges and culverts requiring speed restriction for safety;

4. On the minor arms of uncontrolled junctions and at railway level crossings;

5. Sharp curves with poor sight distances; and

6. Places of ribbon development, where road passes through builtup areas and vehicles travelling at high speeds are a source of imminent danger to pedestrians.

What are the specifications for ideal speed breakers?

The Indian Roads Congress has suggested that speed breakers are formed basically by providing a rounded (of 17 metre radius) hump of 3.7 metre width and 0.10

metre height for the preferred Advisory crossing speed of 25 km/h for general traffic. It is mentioned that more humps be constructed at regular intervals depending on desired speed and acceleration/deceleration characteristics of vehicles and that the distance between one hump to another can vary from 100 to 120 metres centre to centre.

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