While pedestrians complain of the lack of adequate number of pedestrian crossings on the Marine Drive stretch, the traffic police blame the menace of jaywalking for safety issues. The police said that people needed to be more responsible while walking on the roads and must use footpaths for their safety.
The issue of road safety came to the fore after 23-year-old law student Nivedita Nathany lost her life on Marine Drive after she jumped down the divider onto the path of a speeding Skoda car on Thursday night. Nathany was declared dead on arrival when she was rushed to Bombay Hospital.
There is no pedestrian crossing between D road and the Veer Nariman road along the Queen’s necklace making it difficult for locals. “The stretch has Sydenham College and several residential buildings and the residents, students and anybody else who has to cross over to either side of the road, has no option but to climb the divider, which is high and difficult to climb,” said Ashok Rao, president, Federation of Churchgate Residents.
“Along the whole curve, where there are crossings, there are no zebra markings and the time given to cross is not more than 12 seconds, making the elderly hold the breath to make it to the other side. When we are paying high taxes, we can expect better facilities. The authorities should provide walkways and foot-over-bridges as many people throng the place daily and the traffic too moves at a high speed,” Rao said.
The traffic police, however, said pedestrians needed to be more responsible while they walk, dodging vehicles. Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police (traffic), said: “Better facilities need to be in place, which is right, but pedestrians should be more responsible and should avoid jaywalking, specifically on roads where vehicular traffic is high.”
The police maintained that the number of fatal accidents is lower compared to earlier numbers. The Marine Drive police had recently launched a drive to nab illegal motorists and had prosecuted over 80 persons including juvenile drivers, people driving without license, without helmets etc.