Compel jaywalkers to follow traffic laws

20 December, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Road accidents and the resultant deaths and injuries are a cruel reality in our country. Every year, on average, at least five thousand people lose their lives, while many others sustain life-long injuries because of road crashes. Apart from irresponsible driving, pedestrians' reckless road crossing contributes a lot to these fatal incidents as traffic rules are violated very often here.

Yesterday's report of the Daily Sun depicted how reluctant pedestrians are as far as obeying relevant traffic laws. People are unwilling to use footbridges installed to ensure safe road crossing and eliminate the fear of road accidents. Road dividers and fences have been installed to compel unwilling pedestrians to use footbridges, but errant jaywalkers very often cross roads making their way out through broken fences. Slowing vehicles down, they often cross busy roads and highways where there is no zebra-crossing. They even talk over the phone while crossing roads. Besides, pedestrians as well as motorbikes and other vehicles cross different roads recklessly resulting in frequent road accidents.

Lack of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and lax enforcement of laws are to be blamed for their careless attitude. The most common justification of pedestrians for their wrongdoings is that footbridges and Zebra-crossings are insufficient and not put in at right places. Many shopping malls and kitchen markets have been built up beside highways and busy roads without safe road crossing facilities. It is also true that many of the footbridges are not pedestrian-friendly as they are dilapidated and most often blocked with construction materials. Besides, footbridges are occupied by street vendors in daytime while at night those remain so quiet that criminal activities take place frequently, which is why pedestrians try to avoid these bridges. All of these claims are true, but pedestrians' reckless tendency to break the laws is to be blamed most.

Therefore, the authorities concerned should take necessary steps to stop people from crossing roads illegally. Adequate zebra-crossing should be set up where there is a need for it. Besides, footbridges should be kept free from hawkers and security should be ensured there so that pedestrians feel safe to use them. But taking stern action against pedestrians who are breaking traffic laws is the most vital initial step that should be taken to stop jaywalking.