In 2015, speed breakers (or road humps as they’re popularly called) killed 3,409 people in India. Well, that’s more than the deaths due to all road accidents in Australia (3,409) and Great Britain (2,937), in the same year. In India, speed breakers cause about 30 accidents daily, and kill nearly 10 people a day. This has even prompted the union minister for road transport and highways, Mr. Nitin Gadkari to call speed breakers a menace.
Here’s what he said,
This is a menace across the country. We have speedbreakers on every road which can break your bones and damage your vehicle.
But what does he plan to do?
Mr. Gadkari said that his ministry will write to the governments of all the Indian states, asking them to follow norms while constructing and placing speed breakers. Also, he’s said that his ministry will ensure that speed breakers come up only at designated places, after a proper assessment.
Will this help?
If Mr. Gadkari can ensure that state governments of India crackdown on illegal speed breakers, a lot of accidents can be prevented – saving many lives. Illegal speed breakers are the major cause of accidents, and not the ones that are well marked, and built to governmental norms.
Across most of the country, illegal speed breakers are built by locals or by local governments in response to,
- Accidents on a particular stretch of the road caused due to high speed.
- Speeding vehicles that put pedestrian and slower moving traffic at danger.
The bigger challenge Gadkari faces is making state governments follow his ministry’s advisory. The union government – through the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) – controls only a small portion of India’s vast road network. The rest of the roads are controlled by state governments – as roads are a state subject. It is these roads on which illegal speed breakers are rampant. Mr. Gadkari has a tough task at hand.