Pedestrians underscore the need for expediting escalator projects, particularly on stretches made

one way, says

S. Vijay Kumar

On Thursday alone, three persons, including an old woman, who were walking along the road were killed after they were knocked down by speeding vehicles.

The three separate incidents occurred in broad daylight and in full public view on roads without pedestrian platform.

In the case of M. Palani alias Subramani (60) of Tondiarpet who was walking along the S.N. Shetty Road, an unidentified motorcyclist hit him from behind and sped away. The victim was taken to the Government Hospital where he succumbed to injuries soon after admission.

It was another motorcyclist who knocked down 70-year-old S. Saradha of Tondiarpet on the Vaidhayanathan flyover. The old woman was walking on the extreme left when she was hit by the two-wheeler. She died in the hospital, police said.

In the third incident, an MTC bus ran over N.Kannan (60) of Old Washermenpet on Tiruvottiyur High Road, killing him on the spot.

Do people have any option other than walking on the road when there is no pedestrian platform? Is there any move to construct foot overbridges at accident-prone places to enable people cross the road safely?

According to Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Sunil Kumar, the police had identified 10 places in the city where foot overbridges would come up. In the first phase, the groundwork relating to the construction of FOBs with escalators at four places – near the Saidapet Court, Panagal Building, Nandanam and TVS (Anna Salai) – had commenced.

Pedestrians underscore the need for expediting the escalator projects, particularly on stretches that have been made one-way, such as those near the Raj Bhavan.

They also call for similar projects to be implemented at Ashok Nagar, particularly near a theatre complex there. This is important, as after the main road has been made one-way, overspeeding by the vehicles has become common and it is difficult for pedestrians to cross the road in the absence of traffic police personnel. At the same time, motorists complain of jay walking on many stretches.

Special teams had been formed to check overspeeding during non-rush hours.

About 45,000 cases had been booked on charges of overspeeding. “The number of fatal accidents has come down by 52 this year (as against that in the corresponding period) owing to the safety measures taken by the police,” he said.

In a new initiative, the police planned to videograph traffic violations by road users, which would be shown to the public through propaganda vans.

“This is to educate the people on the safety aspects while using the roads. A couple of FM radio channels have agreed to broadcast awareness programmes. We want the people understand that these initiatives are only in their interest,” Mr. Sunil Kumar said.