Speed Breakers are ‘Life Breakers’ in Belgaum

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How often have you been caught unawares by that huge bump on the road without a signboard warning before it? Very often. The latest ones are on the erstwhile Congress road which relaid recently. Such humps and speed breakers also exist in Cantonment area and a few other areas as well. Commuting has become very dangerous at night due to this, and especially for out-of-town motorists these speed breakers are very dangerous without any warning signs. Unpainted humps pose a far greater risk to motorists. Each day atleast 10 vehicles kiss each other on these humps, said Amit who runs a shop just opposite such a hump.

The Indian Road Congress( IRC) standards do not recommend speed breakers at all. The speed limit in a city is between 25-40 kmph. If everyone travels at this speed, there’s no need for speed breakers. As per IRC standards, only narrow roads can have scientifically built parabolic humps and not main, wide roads.

Then why do we have such big unscientifc humps made on Main roads. And if they are constructing these speed breakers/road humps/speed bumps, then why aren’t they erecting caution signs about these speed controllers ?

According to doctors speed bumps not only cause damage to the vehicles’ suspensions, but also to the motorists’ spines.

The Indian Road Congress (IRC) had given specifications for road humps. These are: Central Height: 10-12 cm; Shape: Parabola; Width: 3.5 metres; Length: same as road width.

The road humps should be painted with ‘V’ shape and illuminated to make it visible for the commuters. The humps should not be more than five metres away from the junction or the intersection. Two signboards, one at 20 to 30 metres and another 10 metres away from the hump should be placed for the commuters to know about the road humps ahead.

Intrusion of tree branches should be prevented. Solar cat’s eyes should be installed before the road humps. Generally, the road humps should be on the main roads and not on the cross roads. There was another variety of road humps called “rumble strips”. This is around 5 to 10 strips together. The width of each strip was one foot and the gap between each strip was one foot. The guidelines also make it clear that no vehicle should suffer any damage if it hits a speed breaker. Construction of bumps should be restricted only to vital crossroads, particularly where low grade roads connect with a high-speed traffic corridor. High-speed roads, highways, major bypasses cannot have bumps, unless there is a crossing with another high speed corridor.

It is time for the commuters/motorists to raise their voices against these unsafe “speed breakers/road humps” which are ” life breakers” to the concerned local civic authorities.



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