WHEN used judiciously, speed breakers prevent accidents and serve to slow down traffic in high-security zones. However, when used indiscriminately, or built to incorrect specifications, they cause hindrance to the smooth flow of traffic, damage vehicles and may even cause accidents.

Speed breakers must be located at road junctions keeping in view the ‘right of way’ rule.

They should be built on minor roads joining major ones and not the other way around.

The shape of speed breakers must be such that the gradient is gradual, which serves to slow down the vehicle gently. They must not be too high or of improper shape so that they do not scrape the bottom of the vehicle or deliver a severe impact to the suspension of the vehicle.

Speed breakers must be painted with bright, fluorescent paint and warning signs must be placed before them so that vehicles may slow down when approaching them.

It is inappropriate to construct speed breakers on highways, motorways, expressways and boulevards, which are all meant for high speed traffic.

On the one hand we build good roads to reduce commuting time and wear and tear on vehicles, while on the other unnecessary obstacles are placed on them to cause traffic jams and delays.

Some such examples are Korangi Expressway (which has no crossings), Sunset Boulevard and Rashid Minhas Road (between Askari IV and Sharea). However, pedestrian bridges must be built on these roads to prevent accidents. It is, therefore, requested that the traffic engineering cell of the relevant authorities should examine all speed breakers and modify them accordingly in the interest of safe, smooth and congestion-free vehicular movement.

ASIF JAH Karachi

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