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Indore: Crazy speed bumps, a tragedy or farce?

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Indore: According to established conscience, speed breakers are devices meant for slowing down vehicles by using vertical deflection and thus, prevent road accidents caused by over speeding. But, in a tragic irony, built without following the prescribed norms laid down by the Indian Road Congress, many are proving rather a death trap for the unsuspected commuters in city.

Sounds crazy? Take this.

According to a report on accident statistics released by ministry of road transport, in 2016 as many as 712 road accidents in Madhya Pradesh took place due to poor speed breakers, claiming lives of 95 people and injuring 601 others. However, the figures were only of casualties in road accidents, while millions of people developing injuries in their spinal cords and bones due to the inconveniently built speed breakers across the country go unnoticed.


Going by the doctors, the dangerous speed breakers are damaging mainly the spinal cord of a commuter and number of people suffering from spine disorder is increasing.

According to spine and pain management expert Dr Pravesh Kanthed, “Number of patients with spine damage, slip disc and pain are increasing swiftly in the city and most affected are the ones, who take long ride or drive long regularly. While the problem of sitting posture on two-wheelers is taking considerable toll on the riders, the inconveniently made speed breakers are working as last nail in the coffin.”

Though there is no such registry to measure the effect of speed breakers on bones, observation on medical trend by experts cannot serve less as a truth. Patients with sciatica are also increasing due to undue pressure on vertebra causing pressure on bones and younger ones are the most affected lot, Dr Kanthed said.

“Poor speed breakers and potholes on roads can also lead to injury for life for those suffering from osteoporosis. About one out of three females and one out of five males are suffering from osteoporosis and a bump can cause permanent damage to their bones,” Dr Kanthed said while sharing an example of a woman, who suffered permanent spine damage on her way from Khandwa to Indore just after their vehicle had a jolt over a speed breaker. “The injury was such that could not stand by herself since then,” the expert rued.

Another expert of MGM Medical College, Dr Pradeep Shrivastava also echoed the same and said that those coming to Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital’s OPD are mostly suffering from back ache problem due to odd speed breakers. “Government and administration should remove these inconveniently built speed breakers to save people from losing their spine permanently,” Dr Shrivastava added.

No collective data with IMC’s traffic department

Meanwhile, engineer of Indore Municipal Corporation (Traffic Department) PC Jain said, “We don’t have any collective data of speed breakers in the city as it were constructed zone wise before the establishment of our department. The traffic department was establishment one year ago and we have constructed about 25-30 speed breakers in a year.” He said that there are many illegal speed breakers across the city which was constructed by the residents by their own. “We act against such speed breakers on getting complaints and also by suo-moto,” Jain said.

Indian Road Congress guidelines

A road bump should have a central height of 10-12 cm, should be parabolic in shape and have a width of 3.5 meters and length same as the road width

It should be painted in a ‘V’ shape and illuminated by solar cat’s eyes (solar cells embedded on pavements/road that reflect sun rays and glow in the dark) to make them visible

Should not be more than five meters away from the junction or the intersection

Two signboards, one at 20 to 30 meters and another 10 meters away from the hump should be placed to alert commuters

Should be put up only on main roads and not on the cross roads

In ‘rumble strips’ (humps that have around 5 to 10 strips together), the width of each strip is to be one foot and the gap between each strip, one foot