If you are one of those who chooses to ignore traffic signals and pedestrian subways, you may want to think twice before you dash across a busy road the next time.
After the Ganesh festivities are over, the Mumbai traffic police will crack down on jaywalkers by posting officials at major traffic junctions and outside railway stations. Jaywalkers are pedestrians who illegally or carelessly cross roads paying no heed to traffic regulations.
Those caught jaywalking — punishable under section 33 (b) of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988-— will be fined Rs. 100. Anyone who refuses to pay up will be detained at the nearest traffic police chowky.
“We will start a campaign against jaywalking after the Ganpati festivities are over. We will crack down on violators at major junctions in the city,” Sanjay Barve, joint commissioner of police (traffic), told HT.
The crackdown will begin at roads outside Churchgate station and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Metro junction, Haji Ali, Worli Naka, Worli seaface and Dadar TT.
The traffic police last undertook a drive against jaywalking in 2008, prosecuting about 2,167 people and collecting a fine of Rs. 4.64 lakh. Until July this year, only 172 people have been caught for the offence — a negligible number compared to the 1,243 people prosecuted for not wearing seatbelts, 5,681 for not wearing helmets, 44,929 motorists for driving offences and 10,397 for violating parking offences so far this year.
This traffic police are determined to make pedestrians wary of jaywalking. “Jaywalking causes many accidents. There are enough subways but people still prefer to take a short cut,” said Barve.
The traffic police believe more barricades outside railway stations will discourage jaywalkers and are going to rope in the civic corporation, who will do the barricading. “If barricading outside main stations is done properly, people will have no choice but to take the subway,” said Barve.