The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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On the mark, get set, cross

Prahlad Agarwala,

Zebra-crossings on busy roads have a vital role in reducing road accidents. But strangely, many pedestrians prefer to jaywalk. Yet, several important roads do not have zebra crossings. So, jaywalkers should not be penalised if there is no zebra crossing nearby.

Sunil Banerjee,
VIP Road.

Jaywalkers must be penalised if they do not use zebra crossings even if there isnít one nearby. This will ensure road safety and ward off accidents. Most people are reluctant to walk a few yards, even if it means risking their lives, and cross the road at a zebra crossing. Incidentally, it has been seen that outsiders in the city abide by traffic rules, while our citizens try to be too smart.

Rounak Paul,

Several people will benefit if the idea is implemented. It will put a check on the soaring graph of accidents. Traffic police should be deployed to catch jaywalkers where there are zebra crossings and a impose a hefty fine on them, so that next time they think twice before flouting traffic rules. Constant police patrol is the only way to keep a strict vigil on pedestrian movement.

Bhupen Bose,
Dum Dum Park.

Certainly not. Jaywalkers cannot be penalised in the absence of a zebra crossing nearby. Such crossings are of great help to people in a city where the streets are teeming with cars, taxis, trucks, buses, auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers. During peak hours, pedestrians become puzzled about how to cross the road when there is no zebra crossing nearby.

Smita Mukherjee,

No, jaywalkers should not be penalised if there is no zebra crossing nearby. Itís the fault of the transport ministry, which canít provide enough zebra crossings on the city roads. So, why should jaywalkers get penalised when it is the fault of the transport ministry'

Subhasish Majumdar,

Before slapping a fine on jaywalkers, the police must paint a sufficient number of zebra crossings on all major thoroughfares. Due to lack of zebra crossings at short intervals, pedestrians donít hesitate to take a risk and run across the road. At vital intersections, where a number of roads meet, the zebra marks should be painted in all the stretches. Otherwise, a footbridge or subway needs to be constructed. Unfortunately, there are no such marks in the southern part of JL Nehru Road and near the Park Street crossing.

Santosh Chakravarty,
Unique Park.

Why' Simply because there is no zebra crossing nearby' Unless there are dividers in the middle of the thoroughfare, pedestrians will naturally cross the road wherever they find it convenient. As a matter of principle, abetting crime and then imposing a penalty is also a violation of the law. In fact, more zebra crossings are needed to help pedestrians move freely. To say concisely, facility first, fine later.

A.F.K. Ahmed,
Collin Lane.

In Calcutta, a zebra crossing is not always the safest zone to walk. A lot of awareness needs to be drilled into pedestrians and drivers before one can rely entirely on these marks. Just as jaywalkers, bus and car drivers, too, show scant regard for zebra crossings. Besides, the stripes have faded in most places. Are these visible at night'

Saadia Sitwat,
Linton Street.

Well, I really donít see any fault if people jaywalk where there are no zebra crossings around, especially when they are in a hurry. Traffic signals take ages to switch on and off and pedestrians, like those travelling by vehicles, canít afford to be late. But being careful is definitely the bottomline.

Diptimoy Ghosh,
Salt Lake.

Just as it is not desirable for people to flout road rules, it is also unfair to slap fines on pedestrians when they are forced to walk along the carriageway due to blocked pavements. Zebra crossings should be there at distances of half a kilometre. The law-enforcing authorities canít expect people to run around looking for zebra marks. A fine may be slapped if required, but that must not exceed Rs 20. If the situation does not improve after that, the fine may be increased.

Naren Sen,

Jaywalkers are either unaware of the civic norms or they violate the rules deliberately. The traffic department should conduct awareness drives across the city. Those who violate road rules must be penalised on the spot. But pavements need to be cleared of the encroachments if the authorities seriously want to prevent jaywalking.

Amitava Mukherjee,

No, jaywalkers should not be penalised if there is no zebra crossing nearby. The fault lies with the transport ministry, which canít provide enough zebra crossings on the roads. Why should jaywalkers bear the brunt for someone elseís incompetence'

Ujjal Bhattacharyya,

Jaywalkers should be penalised only if there is no zebra crossing around. But the absence of a zebra crossing does not necessarily mean that a person can walk haphazardly on the road. Pedestrians must abide by traffic norms. Calcutta is a densely populated city and vehicles are increasing by the day. The only safe option is to follow traffic rules.

Kanai Saha,
Gauri Bari Lane.

Traffic awareness is vital in making people abide by the rules of the road. Automatic signalling systems and zebra crossings are the surest devices to prevent mishaps. If traffic rules are strictly followed, accidents will automatically be minimised.

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