A road belongs as much to pedestrians as it does to motorists and yet, many a time, pedestrian rights are not given adequate importance. As a result, you have busy roads without zebra crossings, footpaths that have been encroached upon and lack of alternate walk-ways in places where road repairs are taking place. Maruti Suzuki knows the importance of pedestrian rights and they’ve rightly included it in their India Road Safety Index 2017 as one of the 12 key parameters that fall under the purview of road safety. This index is part of the India Road Safety Mission that Maruti Suzuki introduced in 2016. It rates cities on key parameters concerning road safety by seeking the participation of both experts and public.
According to the 2017 Index, Raipur comes out on top when it comes to upholding pedestrian rights. The city succeeds in ‘ensuring a safe and enjoyable pedestrian environment’. Indore and Delhi come in second and third, respectively. The differentiators that won Raipur the top spot are prominent zebra crossing markings and pedestrian initiatives such as cycling tracks and no-vehicle days. Kudos to the city!
Now that the India Road Safety Index 2017 has thrown light on pedestrian safety, it’s a good time for other cities to learn something from Raipur. City administrations and pedestrians can together be changemakers in the following ways:
1. Always use zebra crossings: While navigating busy roads, make it a point to only use zebra crossings and inculcate the same habit in your children. If you notice that a particular road doesn’t have a zebra crossing, bring it to the attention of the authorities.
2. No jaywalking: Use footpaths, pedestrian walk-ways and subways wherever possible. Jaywalking not only endangers the lives of pedestrians, but also that of motorists.
3. Introduce initiatives such as no-car days: With the help of your fellow pedestrians and local administration, you can introduce initiatives such as no-car days. On such days, the road can be reclaimed by citizens for community activities.
4. Dedicated cycling tracks and walk-ways: Citizens and the administration can identify spaces to build dedicated cycling tracks and walk-ways. This is a great way to encourage pedestrians, specially senior citizens and children, to use streets without having to worry about oncoming vehicles.
The India Road Safety Index 2017 has shown the way when it comes to road safety. Now it’s up to the combined efforts of citizens, local administrations and other related urban development bodies to make our roads pedestrian-friendly.
Let’s hope the authorities are taking note while we pledge to do our own bit towards happier, safer Indian roads. For more information about the Maruti Suzuki’s initiative and the Road Safety Index click here.
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