Barrels on highways to reduce vehicle speed: Disaster waiting to happen

It’s no smart move. It’s a dangerous one that has no rule book or any kind of scientific backing.

BHPian PRO77 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Here is an image I took while traveling on AP and TS highways. These barrels and barricades meant for reducing speed were dangerous enough on 4-lane highways but they are even more so on 2-lane highways. We had many close calls with these; they can be very deadly and can cause serious crashes. Please let me understand my dear BHPians’ view.

Here’s what BHPian Raghu M had to say on the matter:

It’s no smart move. It’s a dangerous one that has no rule book or any kind of scientific backing. You place those drums or police barricades wherever you want and hope that it will reduce speed or help you in checking vehicles but it’s dangerous and has led to umpteen no. of accidents. There are no warning signs, no change in tarmac or any kind of warning for a regular driver.

Here’s what BHPian AlphaLamb had to say on the matter:

These barrels are as “Smart” at managing speed (traffic) as are the metal barricades put up on the junctions of national highways around the country, though on my travels through highways in TN, it almost seems like the authorities there have perfected the placement of metal barricades to an art.

These, I believe are stop gap arrangements made by authorities (who do not wish to expend their efforts to put in well regulated and non hazardous measures) which tend to become a permanent measure until they end up becoming the cause of an accident themselves.

Here’s what BHPian DicKy had to say on the matter:

Seriously the authorities really need a lesson on what a highway is, what a major road is, what a minor road is and the concept of a slip road.

Ofcourse they are aware of the above, but take the easy way out to cover up the infrastructure or regulation shortcomings. In Tamilnadu, the barricades have become a sort of advertisement/sponsoring board for the nearby big textiles/ jewellery businesses.

If they don’t have slip roads or can’t have traffic signals at 90° four way junctions, find some way to slow down the traffic from the smaller roads. Most of these four way junctions should not exist the way they are designed. Good thing is in many places in South Tamilnadu they are building flyovers over the big junctions, but on the other hand the newly built NH66 stretch in south Kerala has a couple of four way junctions thanks to vote bank politics and barricades have sprung up a la Tamilnadu style.

Here’s what BHPian HappyWheels had to say on the matter:

Such barricades are rampant across Tamil Nadu (not drums but steel barriers). They are usually placed on the highway where there is a crossing. Hate them to the core. Yes, they do force people to slow down, but also causes traffic blocs and also accident, especially with one that are placed on turns, with no fore warning.

Sad that other states are following this unscientific approach. But hey, hitting a plastic drum is safer than steel barricades, I guess.

Here’s what BHPian ABHI_1512 had to say on the matter:

As far as barrels or barricades go, yes they are hazardous but still the best shot for saving the lives of many people. We here in West Bengal have been seeing these barricades on the national highways since long.

Most of the four lane highways in the state are used randomly by people living on both sides of the highways and they have even gone to the extent of making openings through the median dividers to cross the highways. These mindless crossings have put the authorities in a fix. While this problem can be solved by making underpasses and putting crash barriers across the highways, it’s anybody’s guess how many one can make !!

So, the authorities have come up with this ingenious idea of putting these barricades and barrels to slow down cars and trucks. They have actually created a bigger problem for cars and most dangerously for the trucks. I have found many a trucks swerve dangerously before the barricades and it’s about time that the authorities come up with something that will not put lives in danger- both of the pedestrians as well as the ones sitting inside the machines. One good thing, at least in West Bengal, they usually remove these barricades during the night. I hope NHAi in tandem with the local authorities finds a more judicious and prudent way to save lives which probably they know already but don’t have the means or intent to implement on the ground !!

And until something better comes up, we all have to drive cautiously and with our eyes wide open !!

Here’s what BHPian antz.bin had to say on the matter:

The way I see them, these chicanes are installed by the local police who are sick of all the accidents happening at the spot due to people driving the speed limit unaware that they should slow down for something that exists there but the driver was not made aware of.

These chicanes should have been included in the highway at the construction/design phase but since the right people didn’t do it, the local police had to take matters into their own hands in the interest of saving lives. But since they are the police and not highway designers, they will obviously do a shoddy job because this is supposed to be an MVP release of the Chicane. Something that had to be done because the road designers *forgot*.

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