The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fancy fee for the footloose

Debashish Chakraborty,

Yes, of course. Jaywalkers should be penalised even if there is no zebra crossing nearby. They are responsible for breach of traffic rules. They cross roads indiscriminately, causing street accidents. The state government should take stern steps against those who violate the traffic rules to curb street accidents. The authorities should also employ more volunteers on the roads to help pedestrians. If this practice is continued, jaywalkers will learn the rules of the road.

Megha Jalan,
Address not given.

Jaywalkers should not be penalised if there is no zebra crossing nearby, because in some areas, zebra crossings are long distances apart from one another and it may not be possible to walk around in search of a zebra crossing. The police should either increase the number of zebra crossings or leave pedestrians to their own devices.

Chandan Ray,

Jaywalkers should under no circumstances be penalised if there is no zebra crossing nearby. It is not a fault to cross roads. It is upto the administration to adjust conditions without harassing pedestrians to ensure the safety of both them and the traffic. A zebra crossing should be marked with fluorescent paint that is visible at night. The lines are either erased or non-existent in the busy areas of the city. This gives freedom to jaywalkers to cross the roads unaware of unforeseen eventualities.

Prasanta Kumar Ghosh,

Calcutta is a god-forsaken city and the traffic police are primarily responsible for this. Sometimes, the police suddenly become vigilant, but usually they are not. The pedestrians should, in their own interests, walk across a road following a zebra crossing. But how do they do so where there are no markings' Then, one has only to trust one’s eyes. But one must not run through a fleet of speeding vehicles. Penal measures do not always yield desired results. A weekly class may be earmarked in schools for students to inculcate traffic consciousness.

Deba Prasad Bhattacharyya,

There is no reason to do so when the traffic control system in the city is chaotic. Who will be hauled up for indulging the hawkers and food vendors on the pavements' Zebra crossings are seen only at some major crossings and to avail of them, one has to walk far away from where one stands. Before imposing a penalty on jaywalkers, the police should first clear the pavements and impose restrictions on hawkers mainly on Park Street, Theatre Road, Chowringhee and the surrounding areas during peak hours.

Arunava Bose Chowdhury,

Strict traffic rules are important in a crowded city like Calcutta, more so when due to inadequate road space, it is getting increasingly congested everyday. It is a matter of shame that pedestrians have, over the years, developed the habit of ignoring the flow of vehicles and crossing roads at whatever point they like. If sincerely implemented, the proposed step, besides making pedestrians disciplined, will help reduce road accidents and speed up the flow of traffic.

Sushma Jalan,

If there is no zebra crossing within 50 metres than jaywalkers should certainly not be penalised. If a person is crossing the road avoiding a nearby zebra crossing, then he deserves to be punished. In case of the absence of a zebra crossing in an area, the police are to be punished as accidents occur due to negligence of not only the public but also the traffic controllers.

Kamalika Nandy,

Accidents are caused mainly by jaywalkers who in spite of the existence of zebra crossings and traffic awareness campaigns, are bent on crossing roads wherever they want. Over 50 per cent of the road accidents are caused due to jaywalking. Even in the absence of zebra crossings, if the offence takes place in the presence of a traffic police or a signal, the offenders must be penalised rigorously. The punishment should be given in public so that they are ashamed of their action. That should teach the offenders a lesson.

Patish Chandra Dey,
R.N. Tagore Road.

Certainly not. Jaywalkers should be penalised only after creating zebra crossings, road dividers and overbridges on important thoroughfares where the problem usually arises. Once this is done, the need for jaywalking will be reduced.

P. Pramanik,
Santoshpur Avenue.

Jaywalkers should be penalised if there is no zebra crossing nearby, provided the offence takes place while the signal is open to vehicular traffic. But zebra crossings at many places in the city are at faulty locations.

Madhusree Gupta,
Anil Roy Road.

If there is no zebra crossing nearby, then jaywalking should be viewed leniently. Although traffic rules are aimed at improving the flow of traffic and ensuring the safety of pedestrians, in our city, zebra crossings are sometimes at long gaps and people tend to avoid walking the extra distance just to cross the road. To solve this problem, I think an increased number of zebra lines and traffic police are needed. This will help the traffic police control the traffic as well as the jaywalkers. In this lies the benefit for both the citizens and the traffic police, and life will surely be safer and smoother for us.

Subhojoy Sanyal,
Salt Lake.

Jaywalkers are responsible for their own safety. They walk down the roads without following any traffic rules. They should be penalised, irrespective of whether there is a zebra crossing nearby or not. The practice of jaywalking should be absolutely abolished.

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