Monday, January 26, 2009

City entry points most dangerous

City entry points most dangerous
A T Subrahmanya | TNN

Bangalore: Pedestrians walking here, beware. Danger lurks round the corner, especially at the entry points to the city.
Amidst the infrastructure chaos, the most neglected segment is pedestrian safety and accidents involving pedestrians vouch for that. In 2008, of 810 fatal accidents, about 455 involved pedestrians. This is nearly 60% of the total fatalities.
Additional commissioner of police (traffic) Praveen Sood says there are five points where pedestrians are most vulnerable to accidents, going by the number and pattern of accidents.
Old Madras Road near KR Puram, Hosur Road near Madivala, Mysore Road between Byatarayanapura and Kengeri, Peenya Road to Yeshwanthpur and finally, Bellary Road leading to international airport, are some of the stretches where pedestrians are most unsafe.
The major factors for the vulnerability at these locations are heavy traffic, wide roads and literally non-existent pavements. “Now there are about four underpasses on Hosur Road, which might help reduce the number of accidents,’’ Sood said.
The issue of pedestrian safety comes to the fore only when walkers are killed, but is forgotten soon. But Sood is planning several measures to ensure the safety of pedestrians this year.
While most of the people are asking for more ‘greenways’ and signal-free zones, Sood disagrees with the idea. There are about 35 lakh vehicles with 35 lakh people driving or riding. One should also not forget that there are an equal number of people on foot.
Play it SAFE As a first measure, police are introducing five pelican lights on Bellary road in another 10 days. With the help of these pelican lights, pedestrians can cross the road by turning the signal to red Even as police are criticised for increase in traffic signals from 166 to 300, Sood says it is the only way to control traffic and for pedestrians to cross the road in those few seconds Pedestrians should use the amenities provided to them instead of jaywalking and risking their lives

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