The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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We Ask You Answer
Merry march across street

Md. Ayub,
Bright Street.

No, jaywalkers should not be penalised if there is no zebra crossing nearby. The Calcutta Police organises Road Safety Week only once a year but that is not enough. Roads are supposed to be maintained. Street lights do not function properly and most road accidents happen at night. Dividers have not been erected on all roads, that’s why people get trapped while navigating the traffic. First, the government should provide safe passage to pedestrians and then only talk of penalising pedestrians.

Pritam Chakraborty,

If a person does not find a zebra crossing when crossing a road, he or she should search for one and then cross the road, because accidents may happen anytime. When such tragedies happen, the driver is invariably found guilty. But that is not always true. About 80 per cent of the accidents happen due to carelessness of jaywalkers. So, jaywalkers should be penalised even if there is no zebra crossing nearby.

Tapan Pal,

Calcutta Police may not return firepower to American Center shooters; but they are overzealous to show their prowess to hapless pedestrians. At the JL Nehru Road-SN Banerjee Road crossing, they fenced the footpath, but cannot enforce the stopline rule. Vehicles overshoot the stopline and halt right on the zebra crossing. Pedestrians have to play cat and mouse, zigzagging their way through roaring vehicles to cross the road. And traffic cops watch the bird on the treetop that is not there. Do we really need traffic policemen'

Sudipa Dutta Chowdhury,
Dum Dum Park.

If there are no zebra crossings nearby, it would not be proper to penalise people. In our busy schedules, it is not always possible to locate the zebra lines, walk the distance and then cross. Besides, elderly people or children may find it difficult to make their way through the crowded pavements during the rush hours. In such a situation it would be practical to cross the roads at a spot where a traffic sergeant is posted. This will ensure safety on the part of the pedestrians and drivers.

Ram Chandra Ghosh,
Panchanantala Road.

A jaywalker should be penalised if there is no zebra crossing nearby.

Prasenjit Adhikari,
Paschim Putiary.

Where there is no zebra crossing at a junction, people should be asked to be cautious while crossing the road, noting signals and following the traffic police’s directions. Before penalising pedestrians, the authorities should see whether the required infrastructure is in place to allow passersby to cross the road according to rules.

Virendra Shah,
Amratala Lane.

When there is no zebra crossing nearby, jaywalkers should not be penalised. But it does not give them the licence to cross the road at any place either. The traffic police should try to find out why jaywalkers are compelled to cross the road at unsuitable places. To stop jaywalking, all footpaths must be cleared of hawkers and buses should be made to stop properly at designated stands.

Sandipan Dutta,

The penalty should depend on whether the right facilities are present for safely crossing the road. If the traffic department cannot provide such facilities to the passersby, then there is no question of penalising them.

Rhitam Basak
Beadon Street.

There are places where a zebra crossing is absent but overbridges are present. But if neither is present, jaywalkers should not be penalised. First and foremost, the authorities must ensure that important intersections have both zebra crossing and overbridges and less important roads have one of the two. Then only can jaywalkers be penalised.

Kavita Maheshwari,

Yes, I think jaywalkers should be penalised even if there is no zebra crossing. Nowadays, due to a busy schedule, people do not have time for rules. If pedestrians are penalised for jaywalking, it is for their own benefit. A mistake on their part can lead to dire consequences and the blame is on the cops on duty. They face the wrath of the public and become the scapegoat for jaywalker’s follies.

Gopal Patra,

Jaywalkers should not be penalised if there is no zebra crossing near an intersection. The deciding factor is whether there are crossing facilities or not.

Pawan Khanna,
Address not given.

It seems that the state government has developed a habit of making new laws every now and then, without even analysing the basic pre-requisites for imposing them. First, there was talk on green channels for traffic signals, then on penalties for persons committing nuisance in public places and now against jaywalkering. A jaywalker is a person who crosses roads carelessly or dangerously. But first, how many places in Calcutta have zebra crossings' Even if they do exist, drivers do not halt before them. They stop on the stripes. There is no walking space on the footpaths as hawkers occupy them. So, jaywalkers should not be penalised if there is no zebra crossing nearby.

Fakhre Alam,
Tiljala Lane.

No, I don’t think it will be a good decision. In Calcutta, there are many streets where there is no zebra crossing. Here, what would people do but cross roads at their own risk'

Seraj Alam,

Haste makes waste. This popular saying sums up the issue. There are certain rules and regulations governing traffic. If a person violates traffic rules, he must be penalised.

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