Pune is already infamous for its enormous vehicular population that surpasses humans and consequently, sees a constant rise in the number of accidents on its roads.
The mob mentality invariably follows an accident and it is no surprise that the driver or the rider is always to blame when it involves a pedestrian.
Interestingly, in a rare instance, a Delhi court acquitted a motorist in a recent accident case and ruled that it was the pedestrians negligence that was responsible..
Pune’s citizens strongly believe that motorists should be given a fair deal and it is equally important for the pedestrians to follow traffic rules and safety guidelines.
“It has always been the driver’s responsibility to drive and ride carefully and under any circumstances, but people do not realise that it is not easy to control a vehicle with someone just appears in front of you” says, Ujwal Makhani, Cab driver.
Jayashree Shah Choreographer, “A responsible driver is always cautious while driving, and will take every possible step to avoid hitting anyone on the road, but the pedestrians also have to ensure that they are not responsible for accidents.”
People in our city have assumed that it is always the driver responsibility to save the pedestrians crossing the road, even when the pedestrians are not adhering to the rules.
For instance, when a driver sees children walking out of a school, he is expected to slow down and he does, yet there are instances when one finds parents on their phones ignoring the children who end up running across the road. In such a scenario, the driver is blamed completely and nobody focuses on the negligence of the pedestrians,
Although people in the city may not strictly follow the traffic guidelines, no driver will intend to intentionally harm the pedestrians, unless he/ she is drunk, or on the phone.
There should be stricter laws on the pedestrians also especially for cases like crossing a road when the signal is green and vehicles are moving, Shah adds.
Kavish Jaiswal, Sales executive, “Our city is pathetic when it comes to traffic and no rules and guidelines are followed! It has become difficult to even cross the roads with vehicles coming from all sides.
The lack of lane discipline and regular wrong side driving is now a major threat to pedestrians. One is not even aware of where a vehicle will appear from!
People are always in a hurry, be it pedestrian or the drivers. The number of vehicles has increased, but the roads are still the same and hence responsible for most accidents.
Drivers are seen halting on the zebra crossings making it increasingly difficult to cross a road. The crossings are not well marked and half the city do not even have cross-walks or zebra crossings, adds Kavish.
Pedestrians should use the zebra crossings which is marked for them and pay heed to the traffic lights, says Manish Petkar, Artist.
Imagine a pedestrian running onto the road from behind a stationary car.. How is one supposed to control and prevent an accident?
Pedestrians should also be held responsible if they’re involved in accidents. The laws against the driver are so strong and moreover everyone around gets hyper leading to the motorist just settling by accepting the blame.
You need to impose fines on people who walk in the middle of the road ignoring the demarcated crossing, or people who walk ignoring the signals.
“Many are seen walking while using their phones which should be treated as an offence, just like motorists caught using their mobiles,” Petkar adds.
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