Delhi police have once again started fining people for jaywalking, beginning with six strategic intersections in the city — ITO, ISBT, Anand Vihar, Rajouri Garden, Africa Avenue and Bhogal — that are prone to pedestrian accidents.
On the first day of the drive on Thursday afternoon, Hindustan Times spent some hours at the ITO intersection and witnessed real time experience. While the elderly appreciated the drive, youngsters were clearly irked when they were made to part with Rs50 for the offence.
"This is nothing but police atrocity. The police always come up with new ideas to loot common people," said Sachin Goel (25) of Paschim Vihar, who claimed to be an officer in the income tax department. He argued with police for about an hour and applied all possible methods to avoid paying fine."I crossed the road safely and when vehicular movement on the road was less," he added.
Last year, a total of 946 pedestrians were killed in a total of 937 accidents involving pedestrians. In total, a total of 2,066 fatalities were reported out of a total of 2,007 accidents last year.
The defiance was apparent from another reaction. An MBA student named Raman said: "We can take care of ourselves while crossing the road. Traffic police should concentrate on managing vehicular traffic."
Some like Krishna Kumar (35) of Jagatpuri went to the extent of saying that there was no rule that empowers traffic police to prosecute jaywalkers.
But the reaction of the elderly was appreciative.
"If we were really sensible, the police wouldn't have to take the pain to teach us lessons by issuing challan. What they are doing is for our safety and we should support this," said Madan Rao (58), a resident of Kotla Mubarakpur.
Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic), said, "The drive will subsequently spread across the city." He said the traffic police are identifying stretches where proper pedestrian facilities are needed.