Two engineering students speeding on a bike were killed in the city recently when the rider lost control as he hit a road hump. This is not the first time that road humps and medians, ostensibly put up for safety, have turned into killers themselves.

The unscientific manner in which road humps and medians are installed is at the root of the problem. Many road humps in the city, especially those in the residential areas, do not follow norms laid down by the Indian Road Congress (IRC).

The biggest problem is that they lack visibility and motorists are not forewarned. Road humps are to have solar-powered cat-eyes to illuminate them and have to be painted with white stripes. Also, the IRC mandates that motorists are forewarned of a road hump by two sign boards, one at a distance of 10 metres and the other at a distance of 30 metres from the road hump, which is sorely missing.

The Bangalore City Traffic Police and the Traffic Engineering Cell (TEC) of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in 2013 had identified 1,681 unscientific road humps in the city and claim to have removed or corrected at least 1,520 of them. However, officials themselves acknowledge that there have been numerous road humps which have sprung up in residential areas .

The TEC is the authorised body to lay road humps and medians on city roads and act on the recommendation of the traffic police. However, zonal-level officers have been laying unauthorised road humps in their area. This is because each time an accident occurs, residents of that area demand a speed breaker to be put up. This has led to numerous unscientific road humps in the city.

Road medians are no different. Most of them do not have cat eyes which alerts motorists during the night. The BBMP has stopped laying low medians as visibility is less and they are not a deterrent to motorists. However, the old ones laid have yet to be upgraded. Even high barricading, where the BBMP puts metal railings up to five-feet, has caused many accidents.

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