Bengaluru, no city for pedestrians

BENGALURU: Though the police claim that the number pedestrian deaths in the city have come down, three such accidents have been reported in the last four days. From the beginning of the year till date, 1,000 accidents involving pedestrians have been reported, and of them, 184 pedestrian have been killed and 815 injured. The statistics provided by the city traffic police revealed that the number of pedestrian deaths in the city have come down from 320 in 2016 to 284 in 2017.

This year, on an average, four accidents involving pedestrians have occurred every day, and 125 every month. 23 pedestrians too have been killed every month. In the first accident on Friday night, a 60-year-old woman died and a 12-year-old-boy who accompanied the woman sustained injuries when a speeding vehicle knocked them down while they were crossing the road in Hulimavu traffic police limits. In another accident on the same day, a 37-year-old man was mowed down in Chickpet traffic police limits. On Sunday evening in Madiwala, a speeding cab crashed into three medical trainees of St. John’s Hospital, who were severely injured. The same night, a 58-year-old woman, who was crossing the road, was run over by a car near IAF Road in Yelahanka traffic police limits.

Revealing the risk innocent pedestrians face on city’s roads, the traffic police data shows that the Bengalureans on foot are more vulnerable than two-wheeler riders. In 2017, 271 two-wheeler riders died in road accidents, while the casualty figures for pedestrians were 284. But who should be blamed for these deaths – motorists who fail to follow traffic rules or the negligence of pedestrians? A senior traffic police officer, who wished not to be identified, said, “Pedestrians often choose to cross the road by jumping over the median instead of taking the skywalks. Also, motorists, while overtaking other vehicles, fail to notice pedestrians passing and crash into them. To ensure their safety, we have installed pedestrian-controlled (pelican) traffic signals across the city.”

He said, “We identified the spots where pedestrians are at risk and or there is higher movement of pedestrians and installed pelican signals.” Bhavana, a techie and resident of Sarjapur, said, “The traffic signal near St John’s Hospital is one of the busiest junctions in the city, but no pelican signals have been installed there. Also, pedestrians are to blame, as they try to jump over the median.”

Narayan, a lecturer at a private college and a resident of Malleswaram, said that majority of the pedestrians are not aware of pelican signals and even if they do, they don’t know how to use them. The police have to be blamed for not creating awareness.”

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