Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) launched “Pedestrian Safety Campaign” on Friday to reduce road casualties and encourage pedestrians to use zebra crossings, sidewalks and overhead bridges where available. MTPD has also decided to fine jaywalkers from mid-May.
DIG Bam Bahadur Bhandari, Acting Police Commissioner inaugurated the campaign amid a function organized in the Metropolitan Police Office. According to MTPD, pedestrians accounted for 41 per cent of deaths from the fiscal 2013/14 to 2016/17 in Kathmandu Valley, promoting it to take an urgent action to raise public awareness about road safety.
DIG Mingmar Lama, MTPD in-charge said over 1,500 volunteers were mobilized across the Valley to educate pedestrians and encourage them to follow the traffic rules. He warned that pedestrians would be punished if they were caught jaywalking.
He added, “We will fine jaywalkers NPR. 200 each from mid-May as per the Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act, 1993. If they don’t have money to pay, on-duty traffic cops will briefly detain and free them after making them attend a class about road safety.”
According to MTPD, the roads inside the valley have become highly unsafe and vulnerable to accidents due to rampant violation of traffic rules on the part of both the pedestrians and motorists.
Traffic police said they would also initiate action against motorists, who do not give priority to pedestrians using zebra crossings. There are over a thousand zebra crossings in the valley and some of them are under the surveillance of CCTV cameras as well. Despite the awareness program, many of the zebra crossing marks have faded. Similarly, the encroachment of footpaths is rampant and pedestrians are forced to use the roads. This clearly shows that the roads are not pedestrian-friendly.
Zebra crossings that are designed for the safety of pedestrians are turning into risky zones of death and injuries. While traffic police are there to regulate the flow of vehicles near zebra crossings at major intersections, the inner roads of the Valley lack enforcement of traffic rules. Though traffic police had launched action against jaywalkers in 2014, the campaign fizzled out.
With this new rule in the valley, we hope there would not be any jaywalkers and would reduce the rate of accidents caused by jaywalking.
Reference: The Himalayan Times