Thursday, July 02, 2015
Did you know you're supposed to stop for pedestrians at a zebra crossing?
The Delhi Traffic Police recently took out a drive to rein in errant drivers who don't stop when pedestrians are trying to use a zebra crossing. Muktesh Chander, special commissioner of police (Traffic), visited some junctions where the drive was carried out and challaned people. Over 70 junctions without signals had traffic police stationed from morning till 7pm for the drive. Chander, who tried to cross the road along with some pedestrians, was unable to do so since the cars refused to give him way .“Almost 46% of the people who die in road accidents are pedestrians and most of them die because they are unable to cross a road despite a zebra crossing being there. We have signages that indicate zebra crossings everywhere, but people don't pay heed,“ he said. He also said that they have written to the NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) to paint the zebra crossings so that they are prominent, and to trim the trees to enable people to see the boards with directions to zebra crossings clearly .“Abroad, even if there is one person using a zebra crossing, people stop and let them pass, but here, people honk and ask the pedestrian to give way . This is why many pedestrians are scared to use the zebra crossing or run while using it,“ he added.EXCUSES GALORE
Out of the 3,100 drivers who were challaned, several complained about how the cops were being unjust. One person told them, “Sirf ek banda cross kar raha tha. Ab main har kisi ke liye kaise rukoon? If there's a group of people crossing the road, I will still stop.“ Another person who was challaned was heard telling the constable, “Aapke sahib (Chander) ped ke peechhe chhupe huye thay aur achanak se saamne aake khade ho gaye. Nahi dikhe isliye gaadi time par nahi rok paaya. It's not my fault. Why are you harassing us?“ One of the traffic constables on duty at the Bhagwan Das Road junction told us, “People get angry if they're challaned for not stopping at zebra crossings. Hum unhe respect ke saath bhaisahab and sir kehke samjhaate hain aur challan karte hain.“
Drivers who stopped for pedestrians were given tokens like keychains, chocolates and small goodies. “There are a few people who are following the rules, but we will have more people falling in line once this drive starts happening on a regular basis. At places with traffic lights, drivers understand where to stop, but they should also understand that they don't have the right to violate the rights of pedestrians,“ Chander added.

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