Almost every day, regular drivers and riders encounter a few jaywalking pedestrians crossing main roads while speaking on their phones…
Completely oblivious of their surroundings, they step on to a busy main road chatting all the while on their phones. No amount of honking or shouting will get their attention and the only thing one can do is screech to a halt and wait patiently till they decide to cross over.
Pedestrians who are busy with texting or talking over the phone while crossing the road are most often not aware of the risk they’re taking. Pedestrians often fail to understand the using a mobile phone while walking is a complete distraction and may lead to being knocked down fatally.
Such accidents have been a major reason for the increasing fatalities in the city. A study of accidents in India in the year 2016 & 17 states that 18 per cent of accidents were caused due to the irresponsible behaviour of pedestrians. Another 9 per cent occurred due to their lack of attention.
Speaking to Pune365, Dy. Commissioner of Police- Traffic, Tejaswi Satpute said, “Under the Motor vehicle act pedestrians can be penalised and traffic policemen in the city are working on its implementation.
They are penalised under the use of mobile phone act. However, the awareness about pedestrians being penalised is very low in the city.
The risk of an accident is equally high when using a phone, be it a driver or a pedestrian on the road.
Nikhil Kadam a social activist says, Pedestrians should be held equally responsible for the increasing accident cases in the city as they are no different from drivers when it comes to using the phone.
Our country is famous for the number of selfie deaths we have recorded, yet, people take selfies while crossing the road.
No driver intentionally harms a pedestrian in the normal course, yet it is always the driver of the vehicle who will be blamed in case a pedestrian is involved.
Lack of enforcement of pedestrians punishments and fines is another reason why they are not disciplined.
The traffic department should adopt the Kolkata police model of confiscating the phone and depositing it directly in the court instead of just penalising them, Kadam added.
Greater awareness building on how people should cross roads and the basic rules to be followed by drivers is what is important, says Avni Parikh, PR executive.
Be it a one way or two-way, vehicles come from all the sides in this city, hence a pedestrian needs to understand and take care of their own safety, Avni added.
Road accidents can prove fatal for pedestrians using them while crossing the main roads, says Umesh Jaykar, MBA graduate.
Smartphones are beneficial tools but people must understand that there is a time and place to use it.
Drivers should certainly not be blamed for such mishaps under these circumstances. Also, Pune Police need to be proactive and start fining pedestrians more often which will then put some sense in people and get them to follow the rules.
However, these drives and efforts of the police must be constant else it will never have a long term impact.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents ( some names changed on request) and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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