The young and old pay the least attention to road safety: officials

The year that went by more than a week ago saw 269 persons lose their lives on the city roads. Of those, 97 were pedestrians, the second highest group of accident victims next only to two-wheeler riders.

Coimbatore City Traffic Police said that the number of two-wheeler riders who lost their lives stood at 150.

The reason cited for pedestrians occupying the second position among the victims was largely due to the use of mobile phones on roads. Be it on the road margins or pedestrian crossings, the young and old paid the least attention to road safety. They were either talking over the mobile phone or listening to songs, the Traffic Police sources said.

With no option available to penalise such pedestrians, the Police were left with only one option – to educate and caution road users, the sources said and added that they were doing so at important junctions.

The Police said they could slap a fine of Rs. 1,100 on riders or drivers using mobile phones but they could not do so in the case of pedestrians, who not only compromised their safety but also of other road users.

One way to create awareness among the pedestrians was to educate them. And the best way to educate them was to catch them young, said N. Kennedy, Chief Traffic Warden. The traffic wardens had been educating school students on road safety through Road Safety Patrol programmes. As part of the programmes, they also told the children to ensure that their parents or guardians also followed the rules. It was a slow but a sure way of ensuring compliance, he added.

The Traffic Police said that they were also marking zebra crossings on roads and planting cats’ eye on roads to caution all road users, including pedestrians.

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