Speed breakers in India come in all shapes and sizes, much to the chagrin of commuters who risk damage to their vehicles. According to data revealed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, speed breakers are also a threat to public safety.
The ministry recorded data for the years 2014 and 2015 for the number of accidents caused by speed breakers as well as the number of people injured and killed by speed breakers. In 2014, 11,008 accidents were caused by speed breakers while a similar figure of 11,084 was recorded for 2015.
9,428 people were injured while 3,633 people were killed in speed breaker related accidents in 2014 and in 2015, 9,764 people were injured and 3,409 people were killed. The number of speed breaker related accidents is primarily attributed to poorly designed speed breakers which are constructed with poor quality materials and lack of proper markings.
The ministry has stressed that it has directed all States and Union Territories to not construct speed breakers on national highways. The ministry has stipulated the standards for construction of speed breakers are included in the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) codes. The codes state that speed breakers should preferably be a rounded hump of 17 metre radius, 3.7 metres width and 0.1 metres height for the advised crossing speed of 25kph for general traffic.
However, these codes are rarely adhered to leading to poorly designed and constructed speed breakers, which are a threat to public safety. In this matter, the government should carry out a comprehensive survey of the speed breakers in India. The employment of milder speed restrictors such as rumble strips should also be constructed on high speed roads.