Spurn humps but tolerate !
By T.K. Malhotra
issue carried a story No More Bumpy Rides to invite
suggestions from the motorists on growing menace of speed breakers
in the city. Many of our readers who live in streets with either
road humps, slow points or some other traffic management regularly
drive through areas struggling with similar devices. Road humps
normally defined as speed breakers have become a part of every
second road or street in the city we live.
motorists have been voicing their opinion and have also been
angry with the Area Traffic Police. Single-lane, angled slow
points are the most intensely
disliked. Speed breakers got the thumbs down too. Drivers and
local residents are, however, more tolerant about speed breakers
which are need based required for safety and are constructed
conforming to IRC specifications.
often controversial schemes are devised to check speed or flow,
to reduce crashes and to improve traffic movement. One of the
many surprises we get on road is creating additional traffic
hazards and blockages by placing security check baricade. Youre
bound to get the feeling that something has gone terribly wrong.
Road is snarled with frustrated drivers who consider themselves
lucky if they can manage an exit. The environment gets obscured
by a sickly smoky haze that emits from the vehicles.
Thanks to Delhi Traffic Police which has now responded to a
wake-up call and has ordered removal of all unauthorized Speed
Breakers. With all their good intentions, traffic police cops
may not be able to find a total solution to this problem unless
we join hands with them. It was this thought that we asked our
readers to identify and report all such humps and breakers,
which seem to be causing great risk.
feed back from many readers reveals that they had never taken
part or been consulted by local persons or the traffic police
on existing or proposed plan of raising humps in their localities.
Other finding reveal that many residents have their own whims
about safety in front of their houses and thus venture into
constructing a speed breaker of no specifications and without
Indian Road Congress in the meeting held on 12th June, 1987
had considered and adopted certain guidelines on the provision
of speed breakers to control vehicular speeds. Accordingly use
of speed breakers is justified primarily under the following
1. T-intersections of minor roads with rural trunk highways,
characterised by relatively low traffic 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;
Intersections of minor roads with major roads, and mid-block
sections in urban areas where it is desirable to bring down
the speeds; and
Selected local streets in residential areas, school, college
or university campuses, hospitals, etc. Also in areas where
traffic is observed to travel faster than the regulated or safe
speed in the area.
place where these may be used include;
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 approach;
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
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.
It is of utmost importance from safety view point that the speed
breakers are laid strictly in conformity with the specifications
recommended by IRC. It has to been ensured that :
1. Speed breakers are laid by first marking the location of
hump on the pavement and marking indents in this area for proper
is then cleared of all dust and loose particles and a tack coat
applied. Forms of requisite heights, shape and width are then
placed, and hot premixed bituminous material is poured to the
required depth and shape. Forms are then lifted and the surface
finished to required shape, and edges rounded by trowel. The
premixed material should be well compacted before opening to
traffic. Allowance should be made for compaction, and irregularities
should be corrected using bituminous materials having fine aggregate
or by scrapping, as necessary. The material is then allowed
to cure before opening to traffic.
Arrangements for proper drainage of the speed breakers must
be made to prevent formation of ponds and puddles.
3. Drivers should be warned of the presence of speed breakers
by posting suitable advance warning signs. The warning signs,
should be of the design HUMP OR ROUGH ROAD detailed
in IRC: 67-1977 Code of practice for Road Signs.
The sign should have a definition plate with the words SPEED
BREAKER inscribed thereon and should be located 40 m in
advance of the first speed breaker. Location of this sign is
indicated in the illustrations of typical cases.
4 Speed breakers should be painted with alternate black and
white bands to give additional visual warning. For better night
visibility, it is desirable that the markings are in luminous
paint/luminous strips. Embedded cat-eyes can also be used to
enhance night visibility. Maintenance of a speed breaker is
very crucial and should not be neglected. The humps, at regular
intervals must be repaired to remove dust or mud collected on
either side. The most important
activity is the repairing and markings on the hump as this provides
an essential visual warning to the drivers. I once again appeal
to all our members and readers to come forward and give us their
opinion and feed back to enable us to place their views in the
next Central Traffic Advisory Committee meeting as also before
the other concerned authorities.