Union ministry of Road Transport and highways has categorically told Jammu and Kashmir government to immediately remove speed breakers from the national highways.
In an official communiqué no. RW/NH-33037/01/2016/S&R(R) dated 11-04-2016,chief secretary B.R Sharma has been asked to immediately take up this issue with the concerned department and ensure that wherever speed breakers are on the National Highways, they are removed. He has been further told that there should be no relaxation of any kind if the speed breakers are not removed.
Referring to speed breakers being constructed on the National Highways across Jammu and Kashmir, the union ministry has said that function of National Highway is to facilitate movement of traffic and not hinder it. It has asked state governments and agencies like NHAI, state PWDs and BRO to remove all speed breakers from highways, which hinder smooth movement of traffic apart from being a safety hazard on high-speed corridors.
Ministry has asked for details of rumble strips that have been laid with approval. According to the Road Accident Report (2014), published by the ministry, 4,726 lives were lost in crashes due to humps while 6,672 people died in accidents caused due to potholes and speed breakers. In its communiqué, the ministry has mentioned that at many places local authorities are constructing road bumps or speed breakers to check vehicular speed despite guidelines being in place.
“This is undesirable, as the function of national highways is to facilitate movement of traffic. Speed breakers can be a source of serious hazards and accidents to the fast-moving traffic,” it said. Referring to its earlier circulars, the ministry has said that these recommendations provide for properly designed rumple strips at locations such as sharp curves on level crossings and congested or accident-prone areas where control of speed on national highways is unavoidable.
“It has been noted that such rumble strips are being provided indiscriminately,” the ministry said adding that location of such traffic-calming measures must be approved by the highway agencies. It also said the agencies should explore the possibility of providing foot over-bridges or pedestrian underpasses on national highways to prevent pedestrians from coming over.
It has categorically said that there should be no speed-breakers on highways, but added that these come up as highways pass through villages and people need to cross over to the other side. The ministry has said that some other way out should be found for providing pedestrian and vehicular crossings but in no way, people should be allowed to construct speed breakers.