The law on speed breakers and speed humps in India

Did you know that there were laws governing speed breakers? Very few government officers and even motorists are aware of these laws and design specifications. This article attempts to explain the law on speed breakers in India.

The law on speed breakers and speed humps in India

The law on speed breakers and speed humps in India

What are speed breakers?

Speed Breakers are traffic management devices which use vertical deflection to slow down vehicles passing over them.

Speed breakers are also known as Speed Humps, Speed Bumps, Speed Ramps, Speed Cushions or Speed tables

Why are speed breakers used?

Speed breakers are used to slow down traffic near schools, hospitals so that children can cross the road more easily or senior citizens can cross at ease. They are also placed near toll booths and entry points of bridges or narrow roads, to ensure that motorists reduce their speed.

Why are unplanned or illegal speed breakers bad?

While speed breakers can help in slowing down traffic and reducing high speed crashes, an unplanned or illegal speed breaker can be as much (if not more) dangerous than the high speed crashes it is trying to prevent. It is very common across India to see speed breakers being laid willy-nilly

  • Slows down emergency vehicles like ambulances, police vehicles and fire trucks
  • Cause traffic congestion and sudden braking
  • Reduces fuel efficiency and increases air pollution of vehicles
  • Causes rapid wear and tear of vehicles
  • The impact can be harmful for patients in transit, senior citizens and pregnant women.
  • Causes an increase in Noise Pollution due to sudden braking, honking, vehicle parts and traffic congestion 
  • May scrape the under-body of low floor cars
  • Can cause vehicles (especially 2 wheelers) to skid and cause a collision due to loss of control

Is there a law governing speed breakers?

Coming soon….

There are various judgements by various Courts, directing the government to formulate rules and policies for setup of speed breakers.

Laws which refer to speed breakers:

  • Home Department’s Resolution No. TFC-1092-991-V dated 23rd March 1992

Where can speed breakers be placed as per law?

Speed Breakers must be used only in urban areas for minor roads and residential areas. Speed Breakers are NOT recommended on high-speed roads or highways outside urban limits.

As per the Indian Road Congress guidelines, dated 12 June 1987, speed breakers must be placed on minor roads, only as follows:

4.1 Warrants:

Use of speed breakers is justified only in the following 3 circumstances:

  1. T-intersections of minor roads with rural trunk highways, characterized by relatively low traffic volumes on the minor road but very high average operating speed and poor sight distances. Such locations have a high record of fatal accidents and as such a speed breaker on the minor road is recommended;
  2. Intersections of minor roads with major roads, and mid-block sections in urban areas where it is desirable to bring down the speeds; and
  3. Selected local streets in residential areas, schools, colleges or university campuses, hospitals, etc. Also in areas where traffic is observed to travel faster than the regulated or safe speed in the area.

Other place where these may be used include:

1. Any situation where there is a consistent record of accidents primarily attributed to the speed of the vehicles e.g. when hazardous sections follow a long tangent approach;

2. Approaches to temporary diversions;

3. Approaches to weak or narrow bridges and culverts requiring speed restriction for safety;

4. On the minor arms of uncontrolled junctions and at railway level crossings;

5. Sharp curves with poor sight distances; and

6. Places of ribbon development, where road passes through builtup areas and vehicles travelling at high speeds are a source of imminent danger to pedestrians.

What are the specifications for ideal speed breakers?

The Indian Roads Congress has suggested that speed breakers are formed basically by providing a rounded (of 17 metre radius) hump of 3.7 metre width and 0.10 metre height for the preferred Advisory crossing speed of 25 km/h for general traffic. It is mentioned that more humps be constructed at regular intervals depending on desired speed and acceleration/deceleration characteristics of vehicles and that the distance between one hump to another can vary from 100 to 120 metres centre to centre.

The “Draft Guidelines on the provision of Speed Breakers for Control of Vehicular speed on Minor Roads” (Highly Recommended read) states that:

1.1 Definition: A speed breaker is a hump surface across the roadway having a rounded shape with width greater than the wheel base of most of the vehicles using the road. When there is decrease variation in sensory stimuli and at locations where speed controls are desired, a speed breaker acts as a strong stimuli to arouse reaction in the brain. Since the driver reaction times are faster in response to audible and tactile stimuli than to visual stimuli, a driver subconsciously reduces the speed.

An ideally designed hump should satisfy the following requirements:
i. There should be no damage to vehicles nor excessive discomfort to the drivers and passengers when passing at the preferred crossing speed.
ii. The hump should not give rise to excessive noise or cause harmful vibrations to the adjoining buildings or affect the other residents of the area.
iii. Above the design speed, a driver should suffer increasing level of discomfort (but without losing directional control and without any vehicle damage) depending on the extent through which design speed is exceeded.

What type of marking and painting needs to be done on speed breakers?

What type of marking and painting needs to be done on speed breakers in India?

What type of marking and painting needs to be done on speed breakers in India?

  • Drivers should be warned of the presence of speed breakers by posting suitable advance warning signs. The warning signs, should be of the design ‘HUMP OR ROUGH ROAD’ detailed in IRC: 67-1977 ‘Code of practice for Road Signs’. The sign should have a definition plate with the words ‘SPEED BREAKER’ inscribed thereon and should be located 40 m in advance of the first speed breaker.
  • Speed breakers should be painted with alternate black and white bands to give additional visual warning. For better night visibility, it is desirable that the markings are in luminous paint/luminous strips. Embedded cat-eyes can also be used to enhance night visibility.

Who is authorized to install speed breakers? Who is responsible for maintaining and installation of speed breakers?

Location of the speed breakers are authorised by the Traffic Police Department on its own or on suggestions received from the public .

The public may  send suggestions on placement or requirement of speed breakers to the

  • Traffic Police Department or
  • Traffic Department of the Municipal Corporation (Eg: MCGM in Mumbai)

The Director General of Police of the state and concerned Municipal Commissioners/ Councillors in charge of Municipal Corporations/Councils are also accountable for the upkeep and maintenance of the speed breakers and to ensure that new speed breakers are constructed in consonance with the guidelines provided by the Indian Road Congress.

The National Highways Authority of India is responsible for speed breakers on the highways.

Landmark Cases on Speed Breaker Law

  • J P Sanghi v. State Of MP 1984 – Petition challenging the speed breakers in the town of Jabalpur and also on national highways passing through Madhya Pradesh.
  • Kumudben Sureshchandra v. Jamnagar Municipal Corporation 1996 – Death due to unmarked speed breaker and compensation – “The Government, the authority in charge of Highways and local authorities, such as Municipal Corporation, Municipalities, Panchayats, and Urban Development Authorities, within their respective territorial jurisdiction, are duty bound to provide safe and motorable roads without any obstruction and with just and reasonable safety devices. If in law there is no provision for erecting a speed breaker, and if it is found that the speed of vehicles at a particular point of road is to be regulated, then a scientific study of the same keeping in mind various aspects has to be undertaken so as to make the device to reduce the speed just and reasonable, which would not result into causing more unintended harm than intended benefits.”
  • Kewal Semlani v. Commissioner Of Bombay And Ors. 2005 – Bombay High Court issues directions for speed breakers in Mumbai.
  • N.D.M.C. v. Shri Chander Kishore Aggarwal 2011 – Compensation of Rs. 1 Lakh granted to motorist. NDMC held guilty of negligence for not maintaining speed breaker and thereby causing the accident.

Guidelines on Speed Breakers

  • Ministry of Railways: DraftSpeedBreakerGuidelinesIR

    Draft Guidelines on the provision of Speed
    Breakers for Control of Vehicular speed on Minor Roads
    Report no. RDSO/WKS/2016/1 by the Works Directorate of the Research Design and Standards Organization, Lucknow

 

28 thoughts on “The law on speed breakers and speed humps in India

  1. lonavla khandala citizens' forum

    To which authority do we contact to verify if the speed breakers recently installed in LONAVLA are within the permissible norms ????

  2. admin Post author

    Why don’t you write to your Municipal Authority and to the Police Chief of your district? The Municipal Authority is primarily responsible for the construction and signage for the speed breaker.

  3. vidya

    what distance should be there between two speed breakers.In our residential gated community there are too many and at every 10m distance you find one

  4. K Prabhakar

    I would like to know whether in an apartment complex association has any right to install speed breakers within the gated community. If they have through a general body approval then what is the minimum distance between the speed breakers and should the design be as stated above by IRC as 3.7m wide amd 0.10 m high ?
    Can the residents object to if the existing speed breakers do not meet the above specs and can they approach legally to dismantle these speed breakers?

  5. Ved Parkash

    IRC should formulate clear guide lines as where to install speed breaker also proper size should be suggested. and Govt. must make law for the same.

  6. prashant s. kapade

    i live in goa corlim village panchayat i request to make speed breaker on state highway from singenta factory to old goa because there is very heavy trafic everyday & lot of children & oldage peoples walking from there so please do this needful

  7. Ajay

    Could anyone confirm/comment on Prabhakar’s comment as similar problems occur in a few more gated complex.

  8. INDU GARG

    now a days, it has become a fashion to put Speed Breaker to shown importance of the Building/ Structure on the Road side. Many Petrol Pumps, Hotel, Complex etc has suddenly build new speed breakers without safety measures /any road sign,

  9. m sudhakar

    in small small street lot of speed breakers and very high. its very dangerous for us.
    this is not speed breakers, this spine breakers. i am afraid for this. can get any legal action for that.
    sudhakar magar hyd

  10. MURALI KRISHA

    In out city vizag, the local municipal authorities are not following the guidelines issued by the Indian Road Congress for laying speed breakers. No sign boards are displaying about the speed breakers.

  11. राजेंद्र चौहान

    मै ग्राम -पंचायत सोहास, सुमाली उत्तर प्रदेश का निवासी हूं, मै जानना चाहता हूं कि क्या कोई गाँव मे अपनी मर्जी से अपने घर के सामने स्पीड ब्रेकर लगवा सकता है, यदि हाँ तो इसका पैमाना क्या है! यदि नही तो, इसके विरुद्ध कहाँ और कैसे कार्यवाही की जाय जिससे कि ब्रेकर को हटवाया जा सके!

  12. Visakh

    Within an overnite a new series of road breaker has been built 2 days back at SH32 ,(state highway 32) near between shutter kavla and koodaloor kavla .
    NO SIGN Boards layed.
    Last night when i was coming home after closing my shop, a biker just missed from an accident with this stupid and unwanted speed breaker.
    A school is near, but its busy only at around 9am and at 3.30pm . A zebra crossing line and police on duty is always present during this time .
    If this speed breaker is not removed soon , very soon new accidents will occur during evening and night hours.
    Also this is a place away from main town.

  13. SUDHIR

    information is goodn hlpful but not complte as three four day we faced humiliation into hands of a shopkkeepr who syad to be prdhan of market.senior citizen faced humiliationn was forced to sign compromise.fault due to making fo too much high ramp he wa aksed to remove.what to do

  14. Sadika

    Mai Up ki deoria district se hu. Mai ye janna chahti ki kya speed breaker apni marji se ghar ke samne banwaya ja skta hai. Agr ha to iske condition kya hai. Mere ghar ke samne kuch logo ne jabrdsti speed breaker banwa diya hai ar sara village unlog ke sath hai taki hamlog ko shrminda kar sake qki av hmlog thode ache life bita pa rahe hai wrna iske phle ham bahut garib the. So
    Mere ghar ke samne ek breaker banaya gya hai aur ek ghar se 20 kadam pe aur ek 40 kadam pe.
    So plz sir help me ki mujhe kya karna chahiye. Mai boli ki breaker mere ghar se thoda aage bana lo but wo log jid me aur pas banaye hai. Ar thekdar ne nahi banaya to jabrdasti khud hi bana dale. To thekdar aur chairman ne paper pe unke khilaf v likh ke sign kar ke diya hai…
    So plz help me sir …it’s very urgent

  15. Vimal K Sharma

    Sir I am resident of sector in Gurgaon. Someone has made illegal speed breakers and they are not upto the specification. I wanted to know is a person residing in the sector can make speed break in front of his house? If not to whom should I approach to remove it?

  16. Vinay Dasarahally

    sir namasthe this is Vinay Dasarahally and I have an two Wheeler.
    daily I’m facing tooo much of risk while crossing the speedbreakers in state highway of 30km. 30 speedbreakers when going to work feels fully tired
    when I back to home in this winter I seen hell everyday I don’t know How do I book an case about this illegal speedbreakers and I don’t know the laws about of speedbreakers in state highways
    I believe I get an a good reply from you
    thank u
    Vinay Dasarahally
    Tumkur New entertainment Media
    Tumkur-572103
    contact mail
    [email protected]

  17. RAKESH KUMAR

    Sir I am resident of Alampur Gadiya, Suti Mill, G.T Road, Aligarh-202001 (U.P) Someone has made illegal speed breakers and they are not upto the specification. I wanted to know is a person residing in the sector can make speed break in front of his house? If not to whom should I approach to remove it?

  18. Rohil

    Please any one can inform me what should be the dimensions of Speed Breakers as per the governing laws ?

  19. smriti bajpei

    Sir I’m smriti bajpei from village katra p. Janakpur dist. Panna mp Sir m ye janana chahti hu k kya ye speed breaker koi v kh apni ichha k according bnwa skta h kya ydi nh to iske against koi action to liya jata hoga na cz sir m na in speed breakers s bhut preshaan ho gyi hu jiska jha mn krta vh apne ghr k samne bna deta h vo v 1 ya 2 nh 5 or 6 or width km hight jyada kr dete h PLEASE SIR I REQUEST YOU THAT TAKE any solid ACTION AGAINST THEM..?

  20. Mangesh

    Speed beakers are used by hotels etc for their interest.. if one accident occurs due to rough driving by any drunk or irresponsible person, thousands of innocent people face daily problem and meet an accident due to improper bumps and missing sign boards… Also the size of bumps are not maintained properly… The guidelines must be strictly followed..

  21. Pablo Escobar

    I am a resident of DLF Phase 3 in Gurgaon. Here some people have constructed speed bumps which are very sharp and cause belly of cars to scrape and also pose accidental threat to two wheeler drivers.

    The people who have made it are nobody but self styled leaders of the timepassing senior citizens group here.

  22. Mamta sharma

    Where/ which department can I lodge a complaint regarding unauthorised speed breaker on newly constructed road in jaipur

  23. Parmish Verma

    Yes Mamta Sharma i have a same question but i am from Punjab. My neighbour village newly constructed road makes speed breakers against rules. that create problem and dangerous for luxury cars for crossing. Please help us lawgic

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