You could not have missed these speed breakers, strung out en route Mahabalipuram (I took these just after crossing Muthukadu on way back to the city). While they should act as a speed check -since a motorist is exiting the highway and entering the town–I noticed that while vehicles slowed down to navigate these `high-domed’ (look at their width) speed breakers, many tended to speed once they had crossed the `hurdles’, defeating the very purpose of the S Bs.

Another point, which I am sure all of us would agree upon is that, although speed breakers come in all shapes, some having a gentle slope, (which are ideal both from the point of driving and from the point of containing speedsters); a few, like the one in Turnbulls Extension, almost whale-like in their proportion, only make you go `whoa’… the real irritants are the ones which require the cars to hit the zero on the speedometers and even then your under chassis scrapes over it!!

Why do our S Bs’ come in different sizes? According to a traffic official I spoke to a while ago, it is because many of them are put up not by authorities, but by area residents. A random check in many localities in south/central Chennai showed this to be true, but quite a few residents also take up the task of removing some of the more impractical S Bs. Like in the posh Boat Club area– where vehicles were not only air lifted, but also due to the unimaginative distancing between the SBs, traffic used to back up right till the signal near Adyar Park Hotel. After weeks of trial and error all but two of the S Bs have been flattened.

It makes one wonder–would rumblers, like the ones at the entry to the airport, have been a better option?

9 Comments so far

  1. Parthasarathy (unregistered) on January 8th, 2008 @ 9:10 pm

    “It makes one wonder–would rumblers, like the ones at the entry to the airport, have been a better option? ”

    Rumblers have a different purpose altogether.

    Pot holes are our traditionally dependable SBs. That is why no engineer has being hauled up for poor quality roads.

    We are short of good traffic regulation too. Speed by itself need not be ruthlessly eradicated. A number of ‘obstacles’ are put up on city roads after midnight(!) to needlessly slow the traffic down. They stay that way even in the morning peak hour causing bottlenecks! If the clever policemen drove cars, they would then realise the difficulty of navigating these. Can someone pass the brains please?

  2. Arun sundar (unregistered) on January 9th, 2008 @ 3:39 am

    Rumblers should be interesting to be driven upon :)

  3. bhamadeviravi (unregistered) on January 9th, 2008 @ 8:29 am

    Rumblers are predominantly in use in places like the UAE, where permitted speed limits are pretty high..

  4. vijay (unregistered) on January 9th, 2008 @ 9:22 pm

    I have been through the exact stretch that you were mentioning.It is highly irritating to have these so called rumblers

  5. vijay (unregistered) on January 9th, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

    I have been through the exact stretch that you were mentioning.It is highly irritating to have these so called rumblers

  6. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on January 10th, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

    Good observations on speed-breakers. While speed-breakers are essential for checking overspeeding and preventing road crashes, they alone do not offer a complete solution to the problem of overspeeding on city roads and bylanes.

    In many lanes and bylanes (hardly 30 fet wide) residents themselves erect speed-breakers as a precaution. These structures look like low-height walls. It is also not uncommon to see fast driving two-wheelerists skidding and injuring when they bump into these speed-breakers, moving on these roads. The possibility of accidents due to these illegal speed-breakers being more at nights and in the absence of street-lighting.

    Many of these speeed-breakers, other than those arranged by the civic body, are illegal structures arranged by private people on public roads, like statues of leaders arranged by followers. That they cause traffic obstructions is a different matter.

    Resident welfare bodies, if they exist, in various localities can bring such illegal structures (speed-breakers) on public roads to the notice of the municipal corporation for their removal.

    Although civic bodies try their best, given their limitations, it is not possible for them to attend to each and every civic problem. People have a responsibility to keep the roads clean and serviceable and be vigilant enough to bring damage to roads to the notice of the civic authorities for immediate action.

    When we keep private premises clean, cannot we keep public roads in proper shape, clean and serviceable?

    Same is the case with speed-breakers. If they are illegal structures and causing hurdles, make efforts for their removal with civic body cooperation. If they need repairs, bring it to the notice of the authorities concerned, write to the newspapers in grievance columns and bring pressure on the authorities to make the more responsive accountable to the tax paying public. If there is greater public awareness, there will be more accountability and better civic services.
    Similarly, traffic cops have a higher responsibility in speed regulation of vehicles in city limits.

  7. rambhai (unregistered) on January 11th, 2008 @ 11:31 am

    well i agree i mean come on we have potholes, muddy roads, people crossing the “highway” without waiting for the green light, and then we have speed breakers too. arent we suppose to go above 30 on the speedo. and then there are those speed breakers which damage the car instead of slowing it down

  8. Tom (unregistered) on January 12th, 2008 @ 9:10 am

    As if it didn’t take enough time to get places as it is, we actually want to *slow down* traffic here? This makes sense on residential roads, but Turnbulls is a good example of this principle misapplied to a street that functions as a key conduit.

  9. Dilip Muralidaran (unregistered) on January 15th, 2008 @ 3:45 am

    Seconding everything people have said here speed breakers are a total waste of time, money and resource. I always accelerate back to 40 after i pass a speed breaker, not because i want to over speed (quoting 40 the official speed limit in city roads) but simply due to the irritation and pain caused by wreckless and unnecessary speed breakers and i just want to leave sight of it.

    If traffic cops arrest and charge a hefty fine for over speeding (read as ‘not charging mamool and letting go’) i bet that would significantly reduce the over speeding problem to a large extent.

    Its not that we do not have laws, its just that we never implement them as required.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.