Pedestrian safety: a major concern

Published On: November 13, 2017 08:57 AM NPT By: Pritam Bhattarai

KATHMANDU, Nov 13: Road safety continues to remain a major concern in Nepal, where hundreds of people lose their lives, and many others are injured every year. 

Pathetic road condition, reckless driving, and carrying passengers beyond capacity, among others are often to blame for road accidents. 

Here in the capital city, the scenario is a bit different. Initiatives taken by traffic police in a bid to minimise road accidents is praiseworthy and laudable. Crackdown on drunk-driving is one of them, which traffic police claim to have significantly lowered the number of road accidents. Other traffic-related campaigns are also recognizable. Banning horns, taking stern action against haphazardly picking up and dropping passengers are good moves. 

However, road safety for pedestrians is still a serious matter to take into account. Pashupati Thapa of Gaushala died in a road accident on July 10, 2017. A microbus knocked him down when he was crossing the road using a zebra crossing. He died of head injuries. Likewise, one month ahead of the Thapa's killing, Rabina Chaudhari, a school teacher, was killed after she was hit by a bus while using a zebra crossing in Basundhara. Similarly in May, Padam Raj Subedi, a retired government secretary, lost his life when he was hit by a two-wheeler while crossing a road using zebra crossing in Anamnagar. 

Both pedestrians and drivers do not care about zebra crossings, maybe they are ignorant of them. Pedestrian crossing is a place on a road (in particular one where there is a lot of traffic), along which white and black lines are painted, and at which traffic must stop to allow pedestrians to cross the road. 

In bigger cities with heavy traffic and wider roads, using zebra crossings is required in line with traffic lights, as it is not always possible to stop traffic every time a pedestrian is to use zebra crossing to walk across. 

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