New Delhi: National Safety Day is observed on March 4 every year to mark the foundation of the National Safety Council, set up under the aegis of the Ministry of Labour and Employment. This day aims to raise awareness about safety measures that should be embraced to reduce mishaps and incidents. This year marks the 50th celebration and the theme is ‘Sadak Suraksha’.
Under the theme, one issue that needs to be highlighted is that many people face problems because of the erratic speed breakers. In India, more than 2,800 people have died and 9,900 accidents have taken place due to faulty road infrastructure in the country, as per the Indian Road Accidents Report 2019.
According to the guidelines, speed breakers should be painted with alternate black and white bands to give additional visual warning. For better night visibility, the markings should be in luminous paint/luminous stripes. Embedded cat-eyes can also be used to enhance night visibility.
Speed breakers should be placed in a good manner. At ‘T’ intersections, speed breakers should be installed on minor roads or perpendicular arms about 10 meters away from the inner edges of major roads.
Proper signboards and markings are required to be provided at such locations. Speed breakers should be extended through the entire width of the road, supported on a proper base.
On bridges, speed breakers should not be provided. However, in accident prone areas which have bridges or curve and narrow bridges, either approach must have two-speed breakers each.
As per IRC-99 (Indian Road Congress) guidelines, a speed breaker should have a radius of 17 m with a width of 3.7 m and a height of 0.1 m. This is calculated to reduce the speed of the vehicle to 25 kmph. The distance between one hump to another can vary from 100 to 120 meters, center to center. Speed breakers may have to be repeated over a section to keep speeds low throughout.
Breakers should be constructed by Bitumen, which has a longer life and allows for the smoother landing of vehicles. Most speed breakers, however, are made of plastic and PVC which wear off quickly within a period of 5 to 6 months, resulting in the additional extra cost.
President of TRAX NGO, Anurag Kulshresth said, “In societies, people find the way to secure themselves from the high-speed vehicles and when residents find their way and due to this they do not follow rules and regulation, its government responsibility to take care of all such things.”
Later he added, “Proper structure and size of the speed breaker is very important. In Noida, many speed breakers don't have any proper size and structure. According to the Indian Road Congress, the design and height of the speed breaker should be 4 to 5 inches. Rumble strips should be there before the speed breakers.”
According to Dr Rajeev Verma from Manipal Hospital, “We mainly have muscles, bones, and nerves in the back and due to heavy strain on the speed breaker, back muscles will strain and tear out. Sometimes, back discs can also be displaced. Sciatica pain can be caused due to this.”