HYDERABAD: Pedestrians continue to be sitting ducks in the city traffic. Even the traffic policemen are not safe while crossing the road.
"Even I can't cross the road without the help of my security. The situation is same for other officials," Additional Commissioner of Police (traffic) CV Anand admitted candidly at the year-end press conference on Sunday.
According to statistics provided by traffic police, 183 pedestrians were killed in road accidents out of 426 fatalities till December 23 followed by 128 two-wheeler drivers who fell victims to road accidents. Pedestrians and bike drivers are followed by 55 people being killed due to selfcaused accidents. However, road accidents have come down with 2,590 accidents till December 23 as compared to 2,797 accidents in 2010.
"It is very sad to see women crossing the road trying to stop traffic by waving their hands,'' Anand said. "We have identified some areas where road crossing is high. At places like Greenlands, we keep our men to assist people in crossing the roads. But it is also dangerous for our men to cross the road at such speed of traffic flow,'' he added.
Another aspect which has come out is the lack of pedestrian-friendly features on city roads. "We have observed there is no space to walk on pavements. They are either obstructed by a transformer, tree or some other thing and in many cases by vendors," Anand said.
Traffic police along with an NGO Right to Walk is suggesting a safety design for pedestrians. Police are now proposing the develop at least a twofeet continuous stretch of walking space for pedestrians. "The pathway would be barricaded and opening given only at the cross over,'' he said.
Similarly, police are also planning for allred signals at junctions for pedestrians to crossover. "All signals turn red for motorists to stop and pedestrians to cross. Depending upon the junction size, the time for pedestrians to cross would be set," he said. Though traffic officials hastened to add the system is already implemented at a few places like Maitrivanam, Anand said, "I never noticed it."
There was a marked increase in penalties for different violations, with traffic police collecting Rs 33.9 crore as compared to Rs 23.99 crore last year. On drunken driving, the traffic top cop said they are likely to get another 30 breath analysers. Presently, 10 teams are working on weekends and after the new machines come to us, we will increase the number of teams or equip the existing teams with more numbers. On the response to drive against drunken driving, Anand said the number of complaints have come down.
"The wives (of drunk drivers) are happy. We have support of the powerful segment," he said in a lighter vein. In the coming year, police are proposing for payment of eChallans at Axis Bank outlets apart from eSeva and APOnline centres.