Chennai Corporation on Tuesday rushed to regulate badly designed speed breakers, after the son of State Cooperation Minister Sellur K. Raju died in a motorcycle accident at a speed breaker on NSC Bose Road, on Monday.
The civic body convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday to take remedial measures on all the roads that have reported accidents due to speed breakers. All the 15 zonal officers have been asked to commence work on the identification of unauthorised speed breakers across the 200 wards.
The zonal officials, on Wednesday, will submit a report, based on which the civic body will commence a drive to remove unauthorised speed breakers or make them comply with existing norms required by the Traffic Police. All badly-designed speed breakers on the bus routes or interior roads will be remodelled by the Corporation.
According to motorists, many accident-prone roads, such as Santhome High Road, have speed breakers as part of the civic body’s efforts to reduce the speed of vehicles. But the failure of the officials concerned to design them properly hasresulted in a rise in accidents. Many accidents are caused because of inadequate illumination of the speed breaker.
According to senior officials of Traffic Police, a no-objection certificate is issued to the Corporation subject to their compliance with the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) standards. But most of the speed breakers are not designed according to the standards, officials said.
According to IRC standards, the central height of a road hump must not exceed 10 centimetres, the shape must be parabolic and the width must be at least 3.7 metres. It must also be painted in a ‘V’ shape and illuminated by solar cat’s eyes to make them visible. Signs coated with reflective paint must be placed 40 meters in advance and must mention the desired speed at which the road hump can be negotiated.
“The width specification differs for roads that see bus traffic and local traffic. They are clearly defined in the Indian Road Congress Norms,” said A. Veeraraghavan, transportation engineering professor at IIT-Madras.
Roads on the premises of IIT- Madras are constructed according to the norms, he said.
Past president of Neurological Society of India Dr. K. Ganapathy, however, attributed the significant number of fatal accidents to the reluctance of motorcyclists to wear helmets. He also pointed to the large number of persons who are seriously, moderately or mildly disabled because of their failure to wear helmets. “According to a survey, 35 per cent of the doctors do not wear helmets. There is a ‘this-cannot-happen-to-me’ syndrome. The only way is compulsion,” he added.
The traffic police has so far set up only 1,200-metre rubberised speed breakers on roads that are prone to accidents, while the Corporation officials said they were yet to have the complete list of authorised speed breakers in the city. Officials of the Corporation said the Traffic Police were setting up such facilities without consulting the civic body and many of them were also badly designed. The lack of coordination between the Traffic Police and the Chennai Corporation, that maintains all the bus routes and interior roads, has played a role in the rise in the number of badly-designed speed breakers.