With the City's annual death toll in vehicular accidents being roughly around 800, half of those killed appear to be the ones walking on footpaths.

 According to the City Police, 177 pedestrians have been killed in the City as on May 30     this year. The toll of pedestrians for 2006 stood at 463. With the City's annual death toll in vehicular accidents being roughly around 800, half of those killed appear to be the ones walking on footpaths. Buses, lorries and cars top the list of vehicles involved in pedestrian accidents and male pedestrians are more prone to die in road mishaps than their
female counterparts. And high on the list of victims are those aged between 19 and 35 years.

Accidents ay Night:

Why do pedestrians end up in road mishaps involving vehicles? Is there a method in this? A top police official observes that most pedestrian deaths occur during the night. “Insufficient policing at night, over speeding and violation of one-way rules cause pedestrian deaths.

Only 10 per cent of the total police force man traffic at night because most of them are employed during the day. We don't have enough personnel to man traffic at night. Special traffic squads must be formed for the purpose of checking traffic violations at night," reasons the police official.

Not that pedestrians don't contribute in anyway to mishaps. Pedestrian movement in City is chaotic. They cross and sometimes even run at places where they're not supposed to. "It's like a face off between pedestrians and vehicles," the police official says and adds that people keep off sky walks, which are meant for pedestrians. “They'd rather walk the road than climb up and down a sky walk.”
Drunken driving is also one of the prime reasons for vehicles mowing down pedestrians.

Deadly Stretches:

Outer ring roads, Tumkur Road, Hosur Road, Sarjapur Road, the IT and BT stretches, Electronic City, Bannerghatta Road, Mysore Road and Mahadevapura are virtual death traps for pedestrians.

Educational institutions, hospitals and multinational companies too are located on these stretches. So there's no dearth of pedestrians.

“A majority of pedestrians here are the labour class who don't follow any traffic rules. There are more pedestrians on this stretch than vehicles,” deduces Deputy Inspector General of Police and Commissioner of Traffic and Road Safety, S Parashivamurthy.

However, not all pedestrians fond of jaywalking end up under the wheels of speeding vehicles. The endless digging of footpaths and encroachment of pavements by hawkers, virtually elbow the pedestrians onto roads. Potholes and uneven pavements too deter them from the sidewalks.

"There isn't any other place where we can relocate vendors. They spread their wares where they get maximum business. Good clean footpaths, free of vendors and debris will help pedestrians," says Parashivamurthy. “One-ways actually reduce accidents but violation of one-ways by vehicles is risky for pedestrians.

Signal lights are meant to guide people and they must obey traffic rules,” he adds and observes that punishment has not lead to deterrence.

But there is near unanimity among authorities concerned that there is lack of adequate facilities like pedestrian subways, foot-over bridges and zebra crossings. Pedestrians just don't appear to count when it comes to planning our roads.

However, K Jairaj, the commissioner, BBMP, says that Rs 45 lakh has been set aside to construct pedestrian paths and sky walks.

"We plan to construct 40 skywalks across the City in the next six months. We have been ruthless with pavement encroachers. As for hawkers, we have0n't found a designated place for them yet. But they're sure to gravitate toward areas where there's business. It's difficult to evict them," says Jairaj.

Pedestrian deaths in Bangalore City

*2007-177 in four months.

City’s deadliest stretches

*Outer Ring Roads.
*Tumkur Road.
*Hosur Road.
*Sarjapur Road.
*Electronic City.
*Bannerghatta Road.
*Mysore Road and
*Outer Ring Roads.

Vehicles (in order) in pedestrian deaths

*Two wheelers
*Auto rickshaws
Source:Deccan Herald –Metro Life,
Thursday, June 14, 2007, Author:Nina C George

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