The engineer who is in charge of a road will be held responsible for accidents caused by unscientific humps and speed breakers on the stretch, the State Human Rights Commission has said.

The Commission’s Chairman, Justice J.B. Koshy, passed the order on a complaint that motorists were being caught unawares by unscientific humps in Muvattupuzha. The Chairman told The Hindu that there were plenty of humps that do not conform to safety standards and are not properly marked. “This often causes accidents and injuries to vehicle users. There are also instances of vehicles getting damaged while negotiating steep humps,” he said.

He directed engineers concerned to remove unscientific humps and to ensure safety standards.

Humps must have markings and reflectors that are clearly visible at night and during rains. There must also be sign boards well in advance that warn of humps, he said.

Signboards and road humps should ideally be glazed with reflective materials to make them visible at night. As per the specifications of Indian Roads Congress (IRC), humps should not be taller than 12 cms and must be 3.5 metres wide. But most humps in Kerala are less than half-a-metre wide while their height exceeds the safety mark. Two signboards, one 30 metres and another 10 metres away from the hump should be placed to inform the motorists about the humps/speed-breakers.

There have been numerous instances of drivers and passengers suffering injuries to their back and neck. The unscientific humps have even claimed lives by causing accidents.

High Court order

To a query on holding engineers responsible for accidents caused because of the poor condition of roads, Justice Koshy pointed to the High Court’s recent order in this regard. The court had held the engineers directly responsible for the accidents.

On Saturday a man had died in an accident at Vaduthala near here because of the dilapidated condition of a road that was dug up by KSEB.

A similar incident had happened at Chitoor Road also. Justice Koshy said, as a Judge of High Court of Kerala, he had pulled up the KSEB in connection with the Chitoor accident.

However, the KSEB then contended that the accident took place because of the Kochi Corporation’s failure to restore the road even after KSEB handed over funds for the purpose.

The High Court then asked the corporation to pay compensation to the victim’s kin.

The corporation moved the Supreme Court against the High Court order.

However, the apex court upheld the High Court verdict.

On the threat posed by banners and flex boards to the safety of road users, Justice Koshy said that organisations did not bother to remove them even after their events got over.

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