Grand Southern Trunk Road is known to be accident-prone. Not a single day passes without minor collisions and accidents involving pedestrians.

The Chennai City Traffic Police and the State Highways Department (Chennai City Division) are taking steps to improve the safety of pedestrians on this stretch.

Yet, with pedestrians on this stretch continuing to throw caution to the wind, such efforts to prevent accidents can only be half successful. One gets a clear example of irresponsible pedestrian behaviour at pedestrian signal at West Tambaram on GST Road. It is not uncommon for pedestrians to stop moving vehicles, even when the pedestrian signal is not on, and rush across to the other side. They act with shocking recklessness, as if their bodies were made of iron and they need not fear any speeding vehicles.

R. Sangeetha, a resident of Guduvancheri, working in Madras Export Processing Zone (MEPZ), and drives to work, said many pedestrians wouldn’t even wait for the vehicles to come to a stop. "They choose to run across in the gap of a few seconds, ignoring the fact that the green signal for the vehicular traffic is on. We are forced to slam on the brakes,” she said. R. Kannan, a commuter, says that a few days ago, a motorist proceeding towards Tambaram Sanatorium was knocked down by an auto from behind. “Luckily, the motorist escaped with minor injuries.”

“At any given point of time, around 20 to 30 pedestrians cross the stretch. A few pedestrians’ stop the vehicles, and cross, other pedestrians blindly follow them. This should be avoided,” R. Jai, a motorist, said. Hope, pedestrians they have a part – a bigger part – to play in their own safety.

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