Ignorance on the road kills


Traffic rules are for our safety and sooner we realise this, it is better for us. Our readers give some solutions to stop jaywalking while emphasising on the need to implement strict rules consistently to curb the problem

Jaywalking is commonly spotted in Kathmandu be it at day or night. Footpath is rarely used by pedestrians. This might be because either most people do not know the meaning of traffic signals or they do not feel necessary to follow them. Even educated ones are seen crossing busy roads as per their desire. People are unaware of the fatal result of jaywalking. First of all, awareness programmes should be launched so that most of the pedestrians acknowledge the meaning of traffic signs and the results of jaywalking. Furthermore, the pedestrians found committing such mistake should be levied with fine. The street lights should be on even at the time of load-shedding. Teenagers, especially those under the age of 18, should not be provided with license.

— Ananya Mishra, Balkhu

I ride a vehicle and I hate to take breaks every now and then, but I have no choice as people jaywalk everywhere. They don’t look for the zebra crossing while crossing the road. Moreover most of our roads are damaged and don’t have clear zebra crossing. Traffic police is active in the urban areas but on the streets of the housing areas, we don’t have any traffic police and it is in these areas where jaywalking is frequent and so are accidents. Street lights in such areas are almost out of order.

Once I was riding on Jadibuti-Koteshwor road where all the vehicles were waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. An elderly woman with a four-year-old child, who was hidden by a truck nearby, jaywalked. Meanwhile, the traffic signal changed to green and the lady just next to me rode her scooter, the women with the child didn’t even bother to turn towards us, as a result the child was hit by the scooter. The lady in scooter was so scared that she fell off of it trembling. Thankfully the child was not hurt, everybody scolded that woman who was chaperoning the child.

So, no doubt jaywalking can be fatal. We are the ones who should take precaution. If we are riding then we should make sure that our vehicle (breaks, head light, side light) are functioning. And if we are crossing the road then we should use zebra crossing. We should make use of sky bridge for our safety. We definitely should follow all the traffic rules. And most importantly traffic police should start fining those who jaywalk — this is the best possible solution.

— Smriti Dahal, Pepsicola, Townplanning, Kathmandu-35

People may think that jaywalking saves their time but are unaware of the fatal accident. I have realised becoming a jaywalker costs. We make mistakes and it’s called learning given the right attitude. So, people must be conscious while being on the road. The best solution to curb this problem is to put up eye catching boards with pictures reflecting awareness about consequence of jaywalking. This may just strike the chord with the jaywalkers.

— Manish Gurung, Golfutar, Kathmandu

People jaywalk for several reasons including convenience, disregard to the rules, and there is no punishment for doing so. The following measures can be adapted to eliminate the risk of jaywalking :

  • Police department should instigate enforcement campaign to curb jaywalking.
  • Zebra crossing should be located at proper places.
  • Modify the traffic signal timing in favour of pedestrians.
  • Police could hand out warnings and citations pamphlets to pedestrians who cross against the signal or who cross at locations without cross walk.
  • Jay walkers should be charged with fines.
  • Educational campaign could communicate the potential danger of crossing road carelessly.

— Rabu Ranjit, Kathmandu

If we are jaywalking wherever we like without using a little bit of common sense we can die.

A recently published report shows that, each year more than 2,70,000 pedestrians lose their lives in the world. It is around 22 per cent of global fatalities.

Inadequate roadway lighting, traffic signals and lack of sidewalk et cetera are responsible for accidents. Lack of emergency breaking systems as well as inadequate enforcement of current pedestrian-friendly vehicle design standards make vehicles risky and accident prone.

While walking on the road, we should use footpaths. If there’s no footpath, one must walk on the right hand side of the road. Using a torch at night is advisable. While crossing roads, one should first find a zebra crossing. If there’s a traffic light, one should wait for the pedestrian’s signal. It’s bad to cross roads at bends or corners. At night, visibility on the roads is low, thus, pedestrians should use reflective clothing, like an armband or jacket while walking.

— Saroj Wagle, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu

Nowadays, people are seen jaywalking everywhere. People don’t even bother to cross road from zebra crossing. It is funny to know that the sign of zebra crossing has almost vanished from the old roads. First this sign must be made visible. And the strict traffic rules along with zebra crossing should be implemented to avoid accidents.

Every community must contribute to instal solar panels on the streets of their locality. Only then the pedestrians will have security and will be saved from visibility problems.

— Susmita Humagain, Kavre

People are seen jaywalking because they always seem to find an easier way to cross the road.

They know that this can be fatal, but they repeat this very mistake time and again. To be honest my niece, who is only two years old, knows that going in front of vehicles can

be dangerous.

To minimise such problems public awareness should be given first, and strict rules and regulations must be imposed. And the government also should be responsible for maintaining the street lights.

— Saraswati Sherpa

The major institution for learning is home. If parents are aware of fundamental laws, I believe there will be common sense in their children. Absence of bulbs in lamp post, lack of maintenance work by various government authorities serve as catalyst to increase the rate of road accidents. In the past, our government brought a campaign for road safety coordinating with Nepal Traffic Police, which was quite effective but lasted only for a few days. Lack of consistency in government’s policy implementation is also one of the hurdles.

Moreover, awareness itself is not a complete solution to overcome such problems but the strict law with effective implementation as well as sound relationship and coordination between all the government bodies starting from central to local may minimise the risk. The consultation done before each and every task will lead a better society with better system, which will generate better citizens.

— Rahul Chakravertty, Bhadrapur, Jhapa

It’s very sad to say that there is no sustainable planning for the reconstruction of the damaged roads, expansion of the road, making overhead bridge and there is no new technology for the effective traffic system in the country.

To tackle all these problems there should be a visionary person in the government as well as in the traffic police. And there should be better coordination regarding the implementation of new traffic rules and new technologies such as speed detecting cameras, signalling of the traffic lights and priority basis riding of the vehicle. Old system and rules should be eliminated and new system should be implemented. The solar night lamp is being introduced in Kathmandu Valley and it should be done out of the Valley too. Campaign for traffic education should be introduced on a weekly basis and of course implementing basic traffic education in the curriculum of the children is a must.

— BR Khatiwada, Ithari-1

Jaywalking is always fatal as it has many risks factors but there are some people who seem to be careless regarding this and are seen jaywalking everywhere that causes many accidents. To avoid the risk, pedestrians must follow the traffic rules. Zebra crossing and fly over bridges are one of the solutions to avoid jaywalking as it helps in avoiding the casualties caused by jaywalking. It also helps people being safe and maintaining traffic rules. Also the solar lights on

the streets that are mostly in bad condition should be repaired and maintained.

— Tejaswi Pahari, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur

The controlling measures for jaywalking can be — crossing road only from designated crossing points, educating people regarding the inevitable consequences of such acts so that they may follow the traffic laws. Strict punishment should be given to those who violate traffic rules. The government must be able to put street lights so that it will be easy to walk and provide a clear view on the road.

— Bishal Lamsal, Chittoor, India

Jaywalkers do not only jeopardise their life but of others too. I believe the harm that jaywalking invites can be eradicated by rigorous management of the road. Bhaktapur highway well illustrates the importance of sky bridge, signboard, indicator, pedestrian path — these can contribute to minimising jaywalking tremendously. In the absence of any of the above mentioned factors, even literate people cross road from the nearest possible path. So, to eradicate this, there must be dividers that will not allow people to cross randomly.

— Ramesh Shrestha, Gathaghar, Bhaktapur

People hesitate to follow the rules in our country. They don’t realise that rules are made for them. Most of the educated persons are also involved in such behaviour. People rather break the rules instead of using zebra crossing or crossover bridges. Also at night, vehicles are in high speed and that may be the cause of major road accidents. Being a medical student I am sure that this causes serious injury and even death.

So, the prevention is not only awareness but punishment and fine too. People are mostly encouraged to wear white clothes during night and proper use of zebra crossing. In some places streets are not properly managed so this should also be taken into consideration. Street lights and camera also play vital role to keep people safe or follow rules.

— Mukesh Dahal, Lagankhel, Lalitpur

I recently saw an accident in Jadibuti — when a woman was crossing the road a bike came and hit her. In many places there aren’t traffic lights. The following things should be taken into consideration to control this problem.

  • People should be made aware of traffic rules
  • Traffic lights should be installed in every junction
  • The person who violates rules should be punished
  • Drivers should compete with safety not speed
  • Pedestrian bridge should be made in crowded places

— YP Sapkota, Lokanthali, Bhaktapur