Delhi residents welcome pedestrians’ prosecutions


New Delhi : With every second person dying on New Delhi’s road being a pedestrian, residents of the national capital are debating the city police’s decision to prosecute pedestrians flouting road safety rules.

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On Sunday, the Delhi Police decided to reinforce the existing law of prosecuting unruly pedestrians who by ignoring traffic rules pose threats to themselves and others.

People will be slapped with a fine of Rs.100 for crossing roads at wrong points, not sticking to footpaths, not using over-bridges and subways, and standing on the road at bus stands.

The drive to instil discipline into pedestrians would be initially launched Wednesday at six intersections: Sikandra Road-Tilak Marg, Barakhamba Circus-Connaught Place Outer Circle, Ashram Chowk-Moti Nagar crossing, Boulevard Road subway and Delhi Gate. It may be extended to all parts of the capital in the next few days.

“The step taken by the police to ensure road safety is appreciable and offending pedestrians should be dealt with stringently,” said Kanika Sharma, a housewife.

“Most of the time people in a rush to cross the intersections become victims of road accident. They put others’ lives in jeopardy too,” Sharma added.

Himanhsu Malik, who drives from his Dwarka home to Saket office everyday, said: “Thank god, at last the police have now woken up from their slumber. Many a time I have witnessed pedestrian’s mistake resulting in fatal accidents, but nobody listens.”

“I strongly believe that until and unless pedestrians are prosecuted, the things at roads will not improve. It should be a collective effort of motorists and pedestrians to secure each other’s lives on the city roads,” Malik, 30, told IANS.

Ritu Shukla said: “Why are always motorists blamed for accidents? What will you do when all of a sudden someone jumps before your car in a bid to cross an intersection? People and the police also blame motorist for the accident. The step of prosecuting road offenders is welcome, but I wonder for how long the police would go on with the drive.”

Madan Mohan, a senior citizen living in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj area, slammed the police’s decision: “The government has not fitted most overbridges with escalators. How can my wife and me climb hundreds of steps with weak knees? We have no other option but to run across roads.”

“There is no infrastructure. Most of the traffic signals are dysfunctional. Zebra crossing signs are missing and most of the subways are encroached by beggars and unwanted elements. How do you expect people to follow regulations, when policemen themselves are flouting these rules openly and without fear?” a police official asked.