We dealt with the matter on several occasions but it seems necessary to hammer it out again and again since a sizeable section of the pedestrians – the so called jaywalkers – is too stubborn to be convinced about the need for using the safest ways of crossing roads.
A Bangla proverb suggests that even a lunatic is conscious about his own interest. But these jaywalkers very often prove to be poorer than mad people in terms of sound reasoning about road safety. Many people die in road crashes in the city for a host of reasons including stupid and careless manners of road crossing. Jaywalkers make up as high as forty-seven per cent of road crash victims.None can foretell when and where a road accident will take place and lead to loss of anyone’s life. But, sadly enough, such dangers lurking around fail to hold back a pedestrian from resorting to risky road crossing. A large segment of pedestrians is found hastily passing through speed vehicles. They are reluctant to use a footbridge or an underpass at close proximity. This is the situation with the most of the so called smart city dwellers. Some of them are even found to engage in altercation with anyone trying to restrain them from jaywalking.
In every other civilised country, pedestrians are found to stick to some prescribed methods of road crossing. But it is completely incomprehensible as to why our city dwellers show such a strong tendency of risking life though, at the theoretical level, they are informed about the risks involved in jaywalking.
This brings us to the point that such soft measures as persuasion, while necessary, are not enough to bring these reckless pedestrians to senses. They simply deserve to be compelled through coercive measures like pecuniary penalty to use the safe ways. Such methods are likely to bring expected results. At the same time, footbridges and underpasses should be constructed in sufficient number at appropriate places. These structures should also be made safe, especially for women and children, and even at night.