Hyderabad motorists are furious over the rumble strips

Hyderabad: Motorists are furious over the rumble strips — the silver white set of strips meant to caution drivers to slow down — that are being installed at several places, claiming that they damage the spine and vehicle health. City motorists say the rumblers are meant to caution drivers on highways and not on city roads where the traffic moves slowly.

Rumble strips are a road safety feature to alert motorists of potential danger, typically by causing a tactile vibration and audible rumbling transmitted through the wheels into the vehicle interior.

According to Indian Roads Congress’ ’Guidelines for traffic calming measures in urban and rural areas’, rumble strips are provided at places where speed control is unavoidable in highways and arterial roads.

“Properly designed rumble strips can be provided on national highways and state highways," the guidelines state. However, their presence on several roads in the city has irked drivers.

"Earlier, they were supposed to be barely raised from the ground, today some are close to half-a-foot tall," said Ankit Malwa, a motorist.

The guidelines say that the raised section should be 20 to 30 mm high, 200-300 mm wide and spaced about one metre centre to centre of roughly 6 numbers at one location.

"These poorly and thoughtlessly built bumps that give me severe back pain," said Manju Vedika R, who was seconded by Vinod Madhu who said that his EV had been affected. "I drive a vehicle with a removable battery and I think the rumble strips are messing up the battery."

Another biker said that these strips cause him a great deal of pain and discomfort. "I feel that they must be implemented in areas where there is a high risk of accidents, such as near schools or in residential areas. The government may be implementing speed bumps as a publicity stunt to show that tax rupees are being put towards a good cause, when in reality there is insufficient research being done prior to installation," he complained while another said that these strips caused his front forks to leak fluid almost three times now.

The rumble strips on Biodiversity flyover, near Nexus Mall, Kukatpally, Raidurg underpass, Nacharam-Mallapur road, new LB Nagar flyover, Nagole flyover and Jubilee Hills Road No. 10, among others, are some places that motorists dread crossing in the city.

Traffic expert Prof. Laxman Rao, who heads transportation engineering at JNTUH, said that rumble strips on city roads and flyovers were a painful experience for drivers, and alternative solutions must be enforced to do away with these bumps. "The disturbance is both psychological and physical. What can be done instead is put up a black spot warning and a display that warns the motorist of their speed," he suggested.

Dr V. Jagadeesh, senior consultant physician, said that since rumble strips won't disappear from city roads, one can work on their flexibility, especially two-wheeler riders. "Since the vibration reaches the driver and doesn't stop at the vehicle, it's important that drivers work on positioning them in ways that ensure their spine aren't affected," he said.

Meanwhile, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation remained unavailable for comment.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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