No DIY speed bumps

Installation of speed humps have become more common with the booming trend of gated and guarded residential areas.

THE hindrance to smooth driving in Subang Jaya is more than just a bump on the road.

Though it is an inconvenient necessity for traffic safety, more illegally made and irregularly placed speed breakers have mushroomed throughout the township.

Installation of such speed humps has also become more prevalent with the booming trend of gated-and- guarded residential areas.

Security guards have been caught fixing their own speed bumps at designated entrances to halt oncoming cars for security checks before entering the premises.

The concept of applying a speed breaker is also known as “traffic calming,” however, its effectiveness in calming traffic is altogether subjective.

Despite its purpose of safety, USJ 11 resident of 20 years Kamariah Hashim is of the opinion that ad hoc speed bumps cause more harm than harmony.

“In the lane right outside my house, I counted nine small and sharp speed breakers that have been created to slow down cars.

“These bumps damaged my car tyres and the undercarriage of my relative’s car.

“I have to spend RM75 every two months to fix my car alignment,” she complained.

This situation is made worse as poorly constructed speed breakers erode over time and under pressure from heavy vehicles, resulting in potholes.

Annoyed by irregular speed breakers made in the past, RT SS15/2E secretary Michael Sundram said he brought up the matter to the council before.

“Usually the speed bumps are placed there to prevent motorcyclists speeding in the housing area.

“But after about every 10 houses, some resident will build one speed bump of their own.

“This should not be the case.

“Some of the speed humps are so badly built that they damage the cars because drivers cannot see them.

“Four years ago, we informed Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) and the council came with a tractor to break up the unapproved ones,” he said.

On the other hand, these speed bumps are an urgent matter of safety, such as for USJ 4/4C resident and RA assistant secretary Geetha Unnie.

Having a speed breaker in front of her house is a crucial solution.

“There are a lot of blind spots, created by cars parked outside our residences.

According to MPSJ standard, there must be a a signage to indicate oncoming speed breakers.
According to MPSJ standard, there must be a a signage to indicate oncoming speed breakers.

“When other cars turn into our lane at a very high speed, we have difficulty in pulling out of our driveways.

“There were so many near-misses involving cars and children trying to cross,” she said.

Following many unsuccessful requests to the council, USJ 4 resident of 15 years and RA security chief K.C Teoh said some of the residents in the area were forced to take matters into their own hands.

“We had no choice but to make one, with some cement and stones. I applied for a speed breaker two years ago because of the cars speeding into my street.

“Up to April this year, MPSJ still has not approved my request.

“Their reason is that unless it is a parallel road or close to a kindergarten, they will not build a speed bump.

“But the situation is still very risky and I have almost been knocked down,” he explained.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh discouraged residents from creating their own speed breakers and that they should instead make a collective request to the local council.

“Residents should not make their own speed bump because it will not have the yellow lines to indicate it, therefore, posing a hazard to drivers at night.

Ad hoc speed breakers that are not built properly can erode and cause potholes.
Ad hoc speed breakers that are not built properly can erode and cause potholes.

“If they need one they should have a signature drive, gather support from all or the majority of residents from the particular street, and then get the RA to file a formal request,” she said.

Setting an example, USJ6 Rukun Tetangga deputy chairman Lee Yap Juan said the association faced no trouble in requesting for a speed bump to be constructed.

After gathering feedback from residents in the area, we made a request to MPSJ and they built it last month.

“Now, we are just waiting for them to paint the yellow lines,” he said.

Design is a key factor in creating a speed breaker.

According to Subang Jaya Municipal Council specifications (as shown in graphic), a speed breaker must be 75mm in height and 2.4m in length.

There must also be a total of 10 yellow lines and a signage to indicate speed breakers ahead.

Although this standard practice is applied to regular main roads, the requirements are not suitable for smaller lanes within housing residential complexes.

According to MPSJ records, a total of 98 requests for speed breakers were received between January and July this year.

Though requests have been made, MPSJ engineering department director Rosli Mohamad Yunus explained that it is subject to approval based on several factors.

“We received 10 requests just last month alone, especially for neighbourhood lanes.

“But in these cases, one person may want the speed breaker but their neighbour may not.

“When a request is made, we will have to see if the speed breaker is to be created near a public amenity such as a school, mosque or playground.

“We cannot just put it up anywhere, because it must fit into the design specifications,” he said.

He added that speed breakers constructed on roads within apartment complexes are under the approval of the management corporation and therefore were not subjected to the local council’s approval.

MPSJ deputy president Abdullah Marjunid affirmed that the council would demolish any speed breakers made without approval.

“Residents should report the illegal speed bumps to us and we will remove it.

“If there is a need for a speed breaker, we will inspect first and then decide,” he said, adding that there was no penalty on residents who built speed bumps without council approval.

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