Motorists in the state capital habitually flout zebra crossing rules and the traffic police are blissfully unaware of regulations to tame the errant drivers.
Result: Pedestrians are compelled to dangerously dodge their ways through vehicles at busy intersections.
“There is no rule for vehicles that halt at the zebra crossing,” superintendent of police (city traffic) Chandrika Prasad said on Monday, when his attention was drawn towards the errant motorists and the plight of the pedestrians. The officer refused to answer any further question, saying he had an “important meeting” to attend.
Barring some intersections in areas around the state secretariat, the Raj Bhavan and the cantonment, violation of traffic rules is blatant at most zebra crossings in areas such as Dakbungalow roundabout, Mauryalok Road, Income Tax roundabout and Boring Road.
Even as the traffic signals blink red, the vehicles are seen on the zebra crossings meant for the pedestrians. Motorists are supposed to stop their vehicles behind the stop line mark at road intersections and pedestrian crossings. But that rarely happens.
Even those in charge of regulating the rules on the road rarely bother to impose fines on motorists violating zebra crossing rules, being unaware of the motor vehicle provisions.
D.N. Singh, a constable at Dakbungalow roundabout, said: “Motorists can halt on zebra crossings. The moment a vehicle violates signals and crosses a crossing, we are entitled to slap fine on him or her. The stop lines are before the zebra crossing.”
The Section RRR 177 of Motor Vehicles Act allows the police to slap a fine of Rs 100 on a motorist for stopping on a pedestrian crossing or crossing a stop line.
The stop line is marked before one reaches a zebra crossing. Motorists often cross the mark and get into the pedestrians’ space, forcing them to either slow down or dodge their ways between vehicles. This not only increases possibility of accidents but also causes snarls on busy intersections, complain several residents.
“The city is growing in an unplanned way and the number of vehicles is going up every day. The motorists on the road seem to be in a mad rush always. They rarely wait for us to cross the road. I have never used zebra crossings to cross roads because the stretches are never vacant,” said Kalpana, a homemaker.
R.P. Singh, a retired central government officer, also does not use the zebra crossing. “These crossings are made for pedestrians like us. But I rarely use the zebra crossing. And it is not my fault,” he said.
Dhiraj Singh, a businessman, said: “People are neglecting rules just because of the ignorance of the traffic police. If the police had imposed fine on the errant motorists properly, the traffic scenario would have been different. I observe 65 per cent people violating the rule daily. Why cannot the traffic police slap fine on them?
“Around 40 per cent of autorickshaw drivers and rickshawpullers violate the rules daily,” said Dhiraj. He added that people lacked awareness and had become used to violating traffic rules as no action is taken on the spot.