Unsafe zebra crossing

Published On: December 21, 2017 04:48 PM NPT By: Shalik Bhatta

Video by Prabin Koirala for Republica

KATHMANDU, Dec 21: When Radha Devi Bhandari was crossing the road through zebra crossing, at Min Bhawan, a speedy motorbike was just likely to hit her.  She is merely the representative for such incidents.

Zebra crossings are designed for safety of pedestrians to cross the roads. But they are turning into risky zones of death and injury. Pedestrians are always in fear of accident while crossing the roads due to distracted or reckless driving.

While traffic police are there to regulate the flow of vehicles near zebra crossings at major intersections and in the inner roads, it is bit easy to cross the roads but in other places it is very difficult and risky. Especially, bike riders could not control their speed in zebra crossings.

Traffic police were run awareness campaigns about traffic rules and urging pedestrians to use pedestrian crosswalks. Traffic police took initiations to enforce rules for pedestrians strictly and jaywalkers were fined from May 15 onwards. But it was not so effective and gradually the campaign fizzled out.

Due to the negligence of driver, pedestrians are in risk of an accident, said Basanta Aryal from Chabahil.  Arayal said, “Rider couldn’t control their speed at zebra crossings too. Pedestrians are insecure in zebra crossings.”

Zebra crossings are faded and traffic lights are useless in various places.  There are zebra crossings, they do not ensure pedestrian safety, as concerned, SSP Umesh Ranjitkaar  of Metropolitan Traffic division said his office has already requested the Department of Roads to paint white marks. He also stressed the need of overhead bridges at major thoroughfares.

SSP Ranjitkaar said that especially bikers in Kathmandu need to be made more aware for traffic rules.  He said, “Traffic police cannot move in every place in every moment. But pedestrians and rider both must be cautious while crossing the roads. SSP Ranjitkaar added, “Due to the lack of traffic light in every junction also create such problem.”

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