As many as 330 pedestrians lost their lives and 1,197 were injured in road accidents in the city this year so far. Most of the victims were women and the elderly who were hit by vehicles while they were walking or crossing a road. Sixty per cent of the victims were aged between 16 and 45 years while children constitute 15 per cent of the casualties.
These figures were provided by the traffic police at the launch of ‘Sugama Safewalk’ programme on Wednesday.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) B. Dayanand said the objective of the programme is to put the focus on pedestrian safety with better designed roads and junctions, and increasing awareness among drivers and pedestrians. “Pedestrians are the most vulnerable and neglected group in the country. The facilities for pedestrians on city roads are extremely poor. This shortcoming needs to be addressed,” he said.
Based on parameters such as narrow, uneven or damaged roads, one-ways and high-visibility areas, the city traffic police have identified seven high-risk spots for pedestrians. These are Trinity Circle, Siddhapura Junction to 10 Cross, Madivala police station junction to Ayappa temple junction, Lalbagh West Gate junction, Havanoor junction, Yeshwanthpur junction and the vicinity of Esteem Mall (near Yelahanka).
As part of campaign, Mr. Dayanand said that each of these areas will have a panel headed by the zonal ACP to address problems related to pedestrian safety. The panel will include architects and traffic experts. He said local citizen representatives and NGOs can also participate.
Rangaraju, chief engineer of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, said most pavements are encroached upon by vendors or debris reducing the space for pedestrians.