BANGALORE: Jaywalking has become rampant on busy roads in the city.
Many may say the traffic cops are not very active to stop it, a skeptic on the other hand, may blame BBMP for not laying good sidewalks and footpaths.
If the statistics presented by the Traffic Management Centre (TMC) are to be believed, over 30,000 jaywalkers gallivant on city roads every single hour of the day.
During peak hours, this number shoots up dramatically, it has been observed.
While the Karnataka Traffic Control Act, 1960, imposes a court fine on anyone caught for jaywalking, the fine amount depends on the magistrate before whom the offender is produced.
Of the 20 most accident prone areas in the city, M G Road is the most vulnerable spot.
Lashing out at the BBMP months before the BMRCL inaugurated the Reach 1 of Bangalore Metro train service, the traffic police had said, without proper sidewalks and footpaths, people cannot be expected to stop jaywalking.
While this was a valid argument, the fact remains that even though M G Road and Brigade Road have operational footpaths, where vendors and hawkers have been evicted from their usual spots - many jaywalkers are seen walking around without a worry right under the traffic policemen’s nose.
“There are over 45 people crossing the road every 10 minutes to and fro the M G Road Metro Station. Even though there are constables posted, there is a rampant jaywalking on the roads. It slows down traffic and leads to jams on both ends of the roads,” said Shanta Kumar, a regular commuter on M G Road.
According to the Act, the minimum fine for jaywalking is Rs 50, but in the last five years, the traffic police have not stopped even a single jaywalker on the streets or fined anyone.
“We cannot expect the people to abide by the rule when there are no facilities.
They need good footpaths to stop jaywalking. Regarding the jaywalking on M G Road, we are going to raise the centre median, a divider, which would entail smooth crossing on the road.
Besides, once the walkway from the Plaza to the station comes up, the problem will be solved to a large extent,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Dr M A Saleem.
Express caught up with a few pedestrians on busy roads in the city and found that people are of the opinion that if the fine is not imposed, then why do they worry about breaking a rule.
“I’ve never seen a traffic cop catch a person for jaywalking.
It is a mocking idea even to expect rule to be imposed so strictly,” said Avani Prakash, a jaywalker near the Forum Mall in Koramangala area.
An estimate of 200 people are found jaywalking on this stretch at any given point of time in the day.
At Jayanagar, the problem has escalated since the central bus stand opposite the 4th Block shopping complex became operational.
“Everyday, we advise people to walk on the big footpaths provided.
But people run and cross the road, even when they see traffic approaching,” said a traffic cop stationed in the area.
The problem is found in other places too like at Indiranagar 100 Feet Road.
“There are big stone dividers between both sides of the road, so the problem of jaywalking is not seen much.
But closer to the U-turns and breaks in the road dividers, people cross the road even without signals.
Since this place has a lot of pubs and the nightlife is hot, the problem escalates in the night time.
Jaywalkers all around here,” said a traffic police constable.
With the Ministry of Public Transportation and Highways, the Union Government is proposing an amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act, suggesting that the minimum fine for all offences be marked as Rs 500, it seems like there is a small change expected in the 50-year-old Motor Vehicles Act.