Speed breaker is a traffic management tool that is used to slow down fast moving vehicles near schools, hospitals, toll booths, flyover entry and exit for safety purposes. The vertical deflection to reduce the speed of vehicles is known as speed bumps, speed humps, speed cushions, speed ramps and speed tables.

But you must have wondered whether it is legal to create speed bumps on every road or not.

Let us find out what Law has to say about speed breakers in India.

According to Road Congress Guidelines, 1987 speed breakers can only be placed on minor roads of residential areas.

Right Deployment of Speed Breakers

As per the Road Congress Guidelines, a speed breaker can be deployed on minor roads in below mentioned conditions.

  • T-intersection of minor roads where the traffic is relatively low but there is an influx of high speed vehicles with poor visibility. Slowing down of vehicle on such intersections will reduce the chances of fatal accidents.
  • Points where minor roads are intersecting with major roads; it is crucial to slow down the traffic to avoid fatal collisions
  • Spot streets where schools, hospitals, colleges, shopping centres, police stations or universities are located where the movement of traffic is faster. Speed breakers can lower down the speed of ongoing traffic to reduce chances of accident
  • Spots on roads that are accident prone due to low visibility or intersection
  • Long tangents where a vehicles tend to over speed and create hazardous situations
  • Points joining narrow or weak bridges to ensure safe movement of vehicles
  • Before unmanned railway crossings to ensure vehicles cross after have a careful look of ascending train
  • Government construction sites including flyover, underpass and any other civic development

Required Specifications of Speed Breaker

As per the Indian Road Congress, a speed breaker should have a rounded hump of 3.7 meter width and 0.10 meter height to enable vehicles to cross at a maximum speed of 25 kmph. The distance between one breaker and the other one should be at least 100 to 120 meters.

Speed Breaker Sign

Drivers should be warned of the presence of speed breaker through advance warning sign boards. The warning sign should look like a hump or rough road. Sign board should read “SPEED BREAKER”.

Speed breakers should have a black and white alternate stripes to increase its visibility on the road.

Illegal or Unplanned Speed Breakers

Illegal or unplanned speed breakers could become a safety hazard and reason for traffic chaos. Here is why:

  • Sudden breaking causes traffic congestion
  • Reduces fuel economy and increases pollution levels
  • Vehicles face rapid wear and tear
  • Two wheeler riders can skid due to sudden breaking
  • Patients in fast moving ambulance can face severe health hazard due to sudden bump
  • Slows down emergency vehicles including fire brigade, police vehicle and ambulance