SPEED BREAKERS AHOY!!
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?