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Since 1st March, 1999
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Three steps to keep trouble off roads
- To keep or not to keep bumps

June 21: Speedbreakers are designed to avert accidents and control speeding vehicles. However, its very purpose seems to have been defeated in the city as they are found to trigger many road accidents.

Faulty construction of speedbreakers and the absence of reflectors to indicate their presence do not allow a speeding vehicle to slow down. Also, several speedbreakers built at close distances make a ride very discomforting. An apt example is the huge rumble-strips on the stretch of the National Highway 37 that passes by Gauhati University. Most people unanimously agree that this stretch is a driver’s horror.

Similarly, the speedbreaker in front of the S.B. Deorah College on GS Road and the ones in front of the B. Booroah College have been found to be the cause behind several accidents, mostly involving two-wheelers.

At night, speeding bikers fail to see the speedbreakers and tumble over because of the sheer impact.

On the other hand, the public works department (PWD), that is responsible for laying down speedbreakers on the main roads, now exercise caution and construct them only when there is an absolute necessity to regulate the speed of moving vehicles in an area.

“These days, we have stopped constructing speedbreakers on people’s requests. We first take into consideration all the pros and cons of having a speedbreaker in a specific area and also try to verify if there is actually any requirement. Only when we are sure do we allow its construction according to the Indian Road Specification (IRS) standards. Also, certain measurements have to be adhered to while constructing them. If the height of a speedbreaker exceeds these measurements, it may prove to be risky for drivers,” said P. Patowary, executive engineer of PWD’s city branch.

“We usually install reflectors on speedbreakers or colour them with black paint to make them visible to drivers. Wear and tear makes these colours fade. The reflectors, too, get damaged because of constant friction with speeding vehicles,” said Patowary.

A few stray instances have also been reported where local people engage construction labourers to build such speedbreakers, without adhering to the IRS standards. The GMC is the authority overseeing the construction of lanes and bylanes in the city.

“We usually do not construct speedbreakers on lanes and bylanes. Sometimes, however, local people demand them. Sometimes, situations where residents cite their problems, requesting contractors to make speed-breakers on lanes, cannot be ruled out,” said additional commissioner of GMC, S. Thiek.

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