KATHMANDU, July 16: The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) on Sunday started a campaign to make jaywalkers aware about traffic rules. The campaign was started after the MTPD realized an increase in accidents at an alarming rate caused by jaywalkers.
“Pedestrians cross roads haphazardly even though there are pedestrian bridges and zebra crossings nearby,” spokesperson for MTPD, Superintendent of Police (SP) Surendra Prasad Mainali said, “This has resulted in an increase in road accidents caused by jaywalkers. We started the campaign to address this problem.” According to him, the campaign has been launched to make people realize that roads are our collective property.
Chief of MTPD Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Basant Pant called this new initiative taken by the division a symbolic program to reduce accidents caused by jaywalkers. “We have realized the urgency of this issue,” he said, “We started this awareness campaign as a symbolic initiative to reduce accidents.” He added that jaywalkers will be taught how to use pedestrian bridges and zebra crossings under the campaign.
SSP Pant informed that 200 traffic police personnel have been mobilized at 12 different locations including Thimi, Koteshwar, New Baneshwar, Thapathali and Tripureshwar of the valley to monitor jaywalkers during rush hours (9 AM to 11 AM and 4 PM to 6 PM). He added that neither the number of traffic police personnel nor the number of spots for the briefing is going to be increased.
The personnel dispatched at these spots hold jaywalkers in an area bounded by a red ribbon near the place they are found to be crossing roads carelessly. When the number of jaywalkers held is in the range of 10 to 15, a briefing is conducted in the public, whereby the jaywalkers are briefed for about 15 minutes about what to do and what not to do while crossing roads, what the pros of crossing roads properly are and what the cons are of not doing so.
Records maintained by the division show that about 40 percent of the total road accidents in the valley occur due to the carelessness of pedestrians. In the last fiscal year, 65 people died in the valley and more than 450 were wounded nationwide in accidents caused by jaywalking. About 300 of these accidents occurred due to walking in the opposite direction and more than 100 occurred due to walking in the dark.