Traffic police to launch pedestrian safety drive

Kathmandu, April 27

Beware! Jaywalking and reluctance to use overhead bridge and zebra crossing where available may land you in trouble.

The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division is gearing up to take action against jaywalkers as a campaign in Kathmandu Valley as per the Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act, 1993. Before swinging into action, the MTPD is set to launch public awareness programmes on pedestrian safety amid a function in Kathmandu tomorrow.

“We felt the need to conduct awareness programmes until the first phase of local level elections to make pedestrians abide by traffic rules,” a traffic police official said. The fine could range from Rs 500 to Rs 1,500.

According to MTPD, the roads in the Valley have become highly unsafe and vulnerable to accidents 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.

The MTPD said it would also initiate action against motorists, who do not give priority to pedestrians using zebra crossings. 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.

The traffic police official said road accidents had increased to such an extent that pedestrians found themselves in danger even when they used zebra crossings to cross busy roads. Every month at least two persons are killed or injured while using zebra crossing to cross the main roads as well as inner roads.

Zebra crossings that are designed for safety of pedestrians are turning into risky zones of death and injury. 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. Though traffic police had launched action against jaywalkers in 2014, the campaign fizzled out.