Chennai: Speed breakers are built or installed at vital location to ensure mishaps are averted and lives are saved. But, ironically, in Chennai speed breakers snuff out lives.
The reason for the mishaps is not the speed breakers themselves, but the design, built quality and poor marking. The number of lives that these poorly designed speed breakers take is 10 every day in the city going by the latest report of Transport Research Wing of the Union Transport Ministry.
Data released last month say speed breakers claim 10 lives on an average daily in Chennai and surrounding areas. The report points to the fact that since majority of the speed breakers are ‘unmarked’, the number of accidents is on the higher side.
When Deccan Chronicle went on an inspection tour around the city, many of the speed breakers in Choolaimedu main road, Lake View road in West Mambalam, Rangarajapuram main road in Kodambakkam, Sembium, Madipakkam, Puzhuthivakkam and Kovilambakkam were ‘unmarked’, leading to mishaps.
“If there is no signboard or a marking that you are approaching a speed breaker, it leads to more problems than solutions. A majority of the accidents have taken place at speed breakers which were unmarked," a senior Transport Department official said.
As per the regulation of Indian Road Congress, providing a rounded hump of 3.7 meter width and 0.10 meter height should form a speed breaker. The distance between one breaker and another should be around 100 to 120 meters.
A senior official of the Greater Chennai Corporation, requesting anonymity, said the civic body has received many complaints from motorists about this issue. “We are working in coordination with the Chennai Traffic Police to identify the areas that need rectification of speed breakers,” the official said.
Praveen Kumar, a motorist, says since roads are mostly traffic free at night, people tend to ride fast. “But speed breakers turn into killers as they are not marked. Failing to spot them, one does not slow down and meets with accidents at night,” he said.
In some areas, people want more speed breakers
Residents want more speed breakers on Medavakkam main road, Chitalapakkam main road, Basin Bridge and Perambur since traffic in these areas has increased in the past few years.
But these residents also stress on the need for marking these speed breakers to signal their presence to motorists. In Medavakkam main road, speed breakers are less in number, making it a speed zone for riders. "Medavakkam main road has less speed breakers, leading to over speeding. The area is termed as a speeding zone by motorists, which makes it an accident prone zone. Breakers are especially needed near junctions and schools to facilitate pedestrians and motorists," M Bala, a resident, said.
“Speed breakers need to be constructed near St. Joseph's school near Perambur main road, as the students often meet with minor accidents due to lack of speed breakers,” said Beena Sam, a student of the school....