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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Pedestrians find Delhi roads increasingly unfriendly

The capital is increasingly becoming unsafe for Pedestrians and cyclistswith them accounting for the largest share of road injuries and deaths.

Delhi ranks the highest in terms of fatal accidents and in number of pedestrians and cyclistsfalling victim to road crashes, according to Dr Muktesh Chander, the special commissioner of police (traffic) Delhi.

Close to 50 per cent of the pedestrians are dying in the capital while crossing the road or using the road, he added.

According to the assessment of the Delhi Traffic police, the sharp increase in the number of cars in Delhi and the shrinking space for pedestrians is partly to blame for rising road accident deaths.

Wherever pedestrian crossings exist, drivers don't respect them." He added, "at cross paths where there are no traffic signals, pedestrians have the right of way, but no one respects it. It is unfortunate that the government too has given emphasis only on motor transport and not to pedestrians." Chander said while addressing the loopholes in the Old Motor vehicles Act.

However, The New Motor Vehicle Act which is pending in Parliament could help in resolving the traffic issues as it prescribes severe punishments for violation of traffic rules.

Chander said during Commonwealth Games the pedestrian facilities were very much praised when thousands of foreign tourists landed in the capital for the event.

''We built such pedestrians because of the games, while other countries do wait for such mega events. After the games, not enough has been done to further improve the facilities for them. But the situation further deteriorated as we can see, forget the pedestrians we do not have the road facilities for physically challenged persons, '' he said.

According to a CSE report, violation of traffic norms has been increasing. There were 329 cases of signal jumps, over 14000 cases of drunken driving and 45,158 cases of over speeding last year.

A study by the IIT revealed that, 51 per cent of the 8,503 deaths which occurred in road accidents in Delhi during 2006 to 2009 were pedestrians. Among motorised vehicles, two-wheelers are the most vulnerable. Most of the pedestrians who are brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Trauma Centre belong to the lower socio-economic strata,''the report said.

Amids this gloomy picture there is some good news in the decision of the Delhi Governmentwhich has decided to redesign 1200 km of roads in the capital at a cost of around Rs 5000 in to make roads friendly for pedestrians and physically challenged people, to promote public transport and cycling.

Source : Web India 123 , 18th Oct 2015 

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