Multi-pronged approach needed to control pedestrian accidents
Voice of The Reader

Multi-pronged approach needed to control pedestrian accidents

April 22, 2024


The significant increase in pedestrian deaths in Bengaluru, rising by 77 percent between 2021 and 2023, from 161 to 286, as reported by the Traffic Department, is alarming. Similarly, in Mysuru, pedestrian deaths rose to 55 in 2010, marking a 50 percent increase compared to 2009. Nationwide statistics indicate that 29,200 pedestrian deaths occurred in 2021, with an additional 60,000 injuries, posing a formidable challenge to authorities.

It is noteworthy that pedestrian deaths in the USA reached 7,500 in 2022, the highest in 41 years. Despite advanced infrastructure and self-regulated electronic controls at pedestrian crossings, human behaviour alongside infrastructure design contributes to such occurrences.

Efforts to mitigate pedestrian fatalities, such as constructing skywalks and pedestrian subways, have limitations and are not always favoured by pedestrians, especially the elderly and those with physical disabilities. Additionally, subways can become hotspots for anti-social activities and their maintenance poses challenges.

Several underlying issues exacerbate pedestrian safety concerns. Firstly, pedestrians often cross roads at undesignated points, disregarding designated crossings. Secondly, footpath encroachments compound the problem. Thirdly, vehicle drivers frequently violate signals and fail to slow down at pedestrian crossings. Poor night-time lighting and the absence of warning signals further contribute to risks.

Addressing these challenges necessitates infrastructure improvements, stringent traffic enforcement and imposing deterrent fines for traffic violations. Public education plays a crucial role, emphasising the importance of rendering aid during accidents to save lives during the critical golden hour, as well as advocating for swift ambulance services. These measures are imperative to address the pressing need for pedestrian safety.

— H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana, Mysuru, 8.4.2024

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