A Ride or Drive on NH-66 Unscientific Road Humps is Akin to a Camel Ride-Just Bumpy!

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A Ride or Drive on the Unscientific Road Humps on NH 66 near Padua School/College is Akin to a Ride on a Camel-Just BUMPY and SCARY! These humps/Rumblers are more UNSAFE than SAFE, and many two-wheelers are falling off their vehicles losing balance, every single day. The SMART CITY -Mangaluru should be proud to have such World’s Most Unscientific Road Humps/Rumblers found ONLY in our Education Hub-the City of Smart People and Educationists.

Mangaluru: During the last two programmes- one the Police Commissioner Phone-In programme held on the First Saturday of every month and ‘Sanchara Samparka Divasa’, a couple of citizens complained about the unsafe and Unscientific Road Humps/Rumblers installed on NH 66 near Padua School/College, and in response, the police commissioner Kuldeep Kumar R Jain had assured that he will look into the problem and rectify it. However, until today, no action has been taken, and with these unscientific and bone-breaking humps, motorists are taking risks every time they pass them.

These RUMBLERS are Very UNSAFE than SAFE. If a car goes over these Rumblers at high speed, it could lose control and crash. More than four-wheelers, these rumblers are much more hazardous to two-wheeler riders, especially scooters, since losing balance and falling off the vehicle is for sure, and you could be run over by a heavy truck or tanker. Instead of being a safety measure, they are a safety hazard! I wonder why we need it – we have enough potholes to do the above job.

Mangaluru: Nowhere in the World you will see Rumblers or Barricades to control speed on a National Highway, Except INDIA, and for that matter now, MANGALURU- which many call a SMART CITY! With No Warning Blinking Red or Yellow Lights, No Warning signs and No White Strip Painted on them, whoever had come up with this stupid idea of installing a bunch of RUMBLERS on a busy National Highway 66, has put motorists’ lives at risk. Amid all the chaos and frustration about the present condition of National Highway (NH) 66, including treacherous potholes, that pass through the City, adding these rumblers has made it much worse.

Okay, I do agree that someone with a good intention two years ago had given a green signal to install these rumblers to give a break to the speeding traffic since it is a congested junction with school and college students and even the public trying to cross the highway. But they should have made a second thought about whether these unscientific rumblers are SAFE for the motorists. According to me and many others, they are UNSAFE. These Rumblers are a road safety feature to alert inattentive drivers of potential danger, by causing a tactile vibration and audible rumbling transmitted through the wheels into the vehicle interior. But they are okay to be installed inside a City, but not on a busy highway where there is a constant flow of speeding traffic. And with a City like Mangaluru having crater-size potholes, I wonder why we need these rumblers – we have potholes to do the above job, in controlling the over-speeding!

To be effective, national highways and expressways need to be high-speed corridors, with few or no obstructions. That’s not the case with our roads. Now and then — in fact, more now than then — traffic has to slow down almost to a dead halt on our national highways, thanks to the ubiquitous speed breakers, like Road Humps, Rumblers and barricades. They are everywhere — outside schools, colleges, places of worship, junctions where smaller roads meet the highway — even outside the residences of powerful, well-connected individuals, including certain members of parliament

In 2016, the Union Ministry of Transport asked the state governments to remove all speed breakers from national highways. On the contrary, they seem to have increased. Even in January 2020, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said speed breakers will be removed from all national highways, which are designed to cater to high-speed traffic without any hindrance, under the jurisdiction of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). The Union government had initiated a special drive to remove all speed breakers along national highways to ensure hassle-free traffic movement, especially on toll plazas, after bringing in the FASTag system. However, whoever decided to install these rumblers near Padua/NH 66 has flouted the ministry orders.

Road Humps are okay and kind of safer, but these City Rumblers are downright dangerous. Besides, they are in flagrant violation of the norms laid down by the Ministry and the Indian Roads Congress (IRC). If a car goes over them at high speed, it could easily lose control and crash. Instead of being a safety measure, they are a safety hazard! Sources reveal that more lives are lost because of accidents caused by potholes and speed breakers. The IRC Code specifies that speed breakers should be set up on crossroads joining main roads, and not in the middle of NH. But our government and administration have mainly been installing rumble strips on the National Highways and main roads instead, thereby choking smooth vehicular movement.

Sources also reveal that the Code mandates that a speed breaker should be parabolic in shape with a width of 3.5 metres and a height of 10 to 12 cm. Its location should not be more than 5 metres away from the junction or intersection. It should be painted in a ‘V’ shape. A sign board at 20 to 30 metres and another at 10 metres away from the hump should be placed to warn drivers. The signboards and the speed breakers should be glazed with reflective materials to make them visible at night. Solar cat’s-eye reflector lights should be installed before the speed breakers. Were any one of these Codes followed by our authorities behind this senseless idea, when they laid these Rumblers/Humps. NO! Most importantly, speed breakers should be on feeder roads and not on main roads or NH.

IRC norms also say that rumblers/Humps are also not to be installed on main roads, because they bring vehicles to a complete halt. This chokes smooth vehicular movement. To be frank, the rumblers just laid here do not conform to norms. The rules specify that a rumble strip should be one foot (30cm) wide and 1.5cm to 2cm high. The centre-point to centre-point distance between two rumble strips should be one metre. Negotiating these rumble strips may also cause health problems, according to orthopaedic surgeons. Negotiating abrupt and sharp objects can cause sprains in a driver’s (or passenger’s) spine, neck and back. It said the speed breakers cause delay and significant discomfort to vehicle occupants, damage vehicles and add to more fuel consumption due to acceleration and deceleration.

Especially on this busy NH 66 which runs through Mangaluru City from Kerala to Udupi and beyond, there is a heavy flow of light and heavy vehicles, including two-wheelers (especially scooters), and when these two-wheelers move on these rumblers, there are very good chances for the riders to lose balance and fall off their vehicle, and with all tankers/huge trucks tailgating, these fallen riders could be crushed under the truck wheels. Did any one of these people who planned on laying the rumblers/Humps ever think of it? Why would when they travel by car and not by two-wheelers, the safety of others doesn’t matter to them, for sure? Bah humbug!

A common argument for speed breakers and rumble strips is that speeding vehicles tend to knock down pedestrians trying to cross the road. Crossing main roads and national highways in Mangaluru is indeed a nightmare for pedestrians. But the solution for this is not speed breakers or rumblers. What the authorities need to do is to install proper traffic signals at important intersections. Every problem has a correct solution. If the wrong ‘solution’ is applied, it fails. Plus, it creates a fresh set of new problems, without solving the original one. Having world-class roads is not enough. For them to be effective, one also requires a world-class mindset. Unfortunately, making roads is a lot easier than changing minds.


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