Pedestrians, Cross the Road at your own Risk
young Delhi-based journalist was recently hit so hard by a speeding motor cycle in Kalkaji area that he succumbed to his injuries there and then. After buying some fish from the market, the poor chap was crossing the road. He did not know that he would die before he could cross the road. And the culprit was a young boy who was driving without any driving license. This is just one of those pedestrian deaths that were reported by the media.
Understandably, media too cannot cover all such accidents. Indeed, it is a scary time for pedestrians in India. They are at the mercy of rash and irresponsible drivers who have no respect for the rights and life of pedestrians. Pedestrian fatalities are increasing thick and fast in India as neither traffic cops nor drivers ensure the safety of pedestrians. More than 53 per cent of the victims of the road accidents are pedestrians. According to the survey conducted by Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) more than 90 per cent of the pedestrians feel unsafe while crossing the roads. With the increase of vehicular population in geometric proportion and the inadequate infrastructure for pedestrians, it is a nightmare to cross the roads. It is tough being a pedestrian in India.
For all pedestrians, they have to stay alert at all times about what he or she is stepping onto — a person, a sleeping dog — and be aware of what is going to hit him from behind. Some people ride their motorbikes on the sidewalk. Or a raging cow. If you want to see how people drive on sidewalks, just see any major road in any metro of India.if you are walking on the road, then do so with great caution. This Learn from Dubai and Singapore
Forget about the US or European countries, pedestrians get tremendous amount of respect from drivers even in the gulf and South East Asian nations. Go to Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, Abu Dhabi, you would find a different world for pedestrians. It is a safe world for them. If a pedestrian is on zebra crossing be it on a major or small road, the entire traffic would come to a grinding halt. As long as pedestrians are on the road, nobody would dare drive their vehicles. Can you imagine such a scenario in India?
What is all the more serious is the fact that pedestrians are the worst sufferers in road accidents in India. And unless the government takes major steps to protect its pedestrians, they would die unnoticed. How to make the lives of pedestrians safe ? It is high time that the concerned agencies spend more money on building better infrastructure such as sidewalks, raised crosswalks and designated lanes for different kinds of traffic. Arguably, we have the least amount of pedestrian infrastructure like sidewalks, proper zebra crossings, crossing the roads wherever convenient, putting themselves and the motorists at risk.
While Indian roads are a constant cacophony of horns, how many times have you been given adequate warning by a motorist? The International Federation of Pedestrians has been explicitly advocating the right to walk in public spaces as a basic human right.