Over 10,000 pedestrians given road safety lesson

Kathmandu, July 19

Traffic police said they educated over 10,000 pedestrians about road safety in Kathmandu valley in the past five days.

The awareness campaign was launched on July 15, targeting pedestrians. Senior Superintendent of Police Basant Kumar Pant, officiating in-charge at Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, said all 35 units of traffic police would continue the campaign till July 25 in their respective areas.

According to MTPD, the roads in valley has become highly unsafe due to rampant violation of traffic rules by pedestrians as well as motorists. Nearly 40 per cent out of an average of 14 persons killed in road accidents every month are pedestrians. “We are convincing jaywalkers to use zebra crossing and overhead bridge where such facilities exist. This campaign is expected to play an important role in enhancing pedestrian safety,” he informed.

Under this campaign, traffic cops convince the pedestrians, who are not seen using zebra crossings. As per the Motor Vehicles and Transport Management Act 1993, pedestrians are required to use zebra crossings, overhead bridges and subways to cross roads. If no sidewalks exist on the road, it is recommended that pedestrians walk on the right-hand side of the road.

MTPD said it would also initiate action against motorists, who do not halt their vehicles to allow pedestrians to cross the road using zebra crossing. Drivers involved in road accidents near or on zebra crossings are dealt with seriously. They may be slapped with imprisonment for up to 10 years depending on the gravity of the case. The valley has over 1,000 zebra crossings and some of them are under the surveillance of CCTV cameras as well.

While traffic police are there to regulate the flow of vehicles near zebra crossings at major intersections, the inner roads of the valley lack enforcement of traffic rules. Despite the awareness programme, many of the zebra crossing marks have faded. Similarly, encroachment of footpaths is rampant and pedestrians are forced to use the roads. This shows that the roads are not pedestrian-friendly.