It might not be an offence yet, but with incidents of ‘distracted’ pedestrians getting mowed down being repeated with alarming frequency in the NCR, both police and road experts are giving penalising road users another thought.A Delhi school student was crushed to death when he failed to notice a speeding train as he was crossing the railway track in Ghaziabad on Saturday afternoon. Sixteen-year-old Kaushlendra Pal had headphones on and was listening to music on his mobile phone.
This is the fourth such accident reported in the National Capital Region. Two schoolboys were mowed down by a train in Ghaziabad, in December last year. Like Pal, they also had their headphones on and did not notice the approaching train. A similar case was reported from Narela in outer Delhi.
In a similar incident, a 21-year-old accountant was killed in a freak accident allegedly while talking on her mobile phone as she crossed a busy east Delhi road on November 23.
While there are differing points of view about the ‘degrees of distraction’, there is consensus as far as being alert while on the road, no matter what one’s mode of travel.
“Anybody, whether a driver of a two wheeler or a pedestrian who isn’t attentive on the road is putting both his and the lives of others in danger,” said Satyendar Garg, joint CP (traffic).
Garg said one requires ‘100% attention’ on the street. He said though the degrees of danger that listening to music or talking on the phone present may differ — both are essentially dangerous.
“Talking on mobile can be interpreted as dangerous driving under the motor vehicle act and is punishable — but listening to music is not punishable. However, there have been many cases in which drivers engrossed in music end up mowing down pedestrians,” Garg said.