Downtown

Cross the road before the vehicle gets you

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, 30/04/2015: Pedestrians finding it difficult to cross the CTH Road near Ambattur Police Station in Chennai on April 30, 2015. Photo: M. Vedhan   | Photo Credit: M_VEDHAN

Last week, a middle-aged man was injured after a speeding two-wheeler hit him at the junction in front of the Ambattur police station on CTH Road, while he was crossing the stretch. Traffic came to a halt at the junction as motorists blamed the pedestrian for carelessly crossing the road. A few pedestrians helped the injured man get back on to his feet. A traffic policeman, on the other hand, was seen busy talking on with cellphone, sitting comfortably on the steel barricade-cum-seat.

Walkers on the CTH Road, especially at the junction in front of the police station in Ambattur, are at the mercy of the speeding motorists. “The pedestrian crossing is less than 50 metres wide but we have to run to cross the stretch safely. Motorists come at high speeds and we cannot take a chance,” said K.Vimala, a resident of Ambattur.

In fact, the recent expansion of the CTH Road from four lane to six lane has only encouraged motorists, including drivers of MTC buses, to travel at high speeds. Speed breakers are fewer than they should be. According to police sources, on an average, around two accidents involving pedestrians happen at this junction every week. This does not include minor injuries sustained by pedestrians while they try to cross the stretch. “As a norm, highway roads should not have speed breakers as it would curtail free traffic movement . However, the norm can be eased at the intersection of these stretches, especially when residential areas are in the vicinity,” said a traffic police officer.

The problem at the junction, according to traffic policemen, is that motorists tend to speed after they cross a narrow curve and a small bridge from the Canara Bank bus stop on the CTH Road. The stretch between these spots is narrow.

The state highways is yet to widen this portion of the CTH Road while the road between the small bridge and the junction in front of the police station at Ambattur has been widened. Motorists seem to be taking advantage of greater space, fewer speed breakers and lack of intervention by traffic policemen. “There is no proper traffic signal here. Barricades should be placed here during non-rush hours. Policemen are stationed here,” said S. Marimuthu, a resident of Ambattur.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 1:08:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/cross-the-road-before-the-vehicle-gets-you/article7164549.ece

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