The death of a man near sector 18 after a roadside hoarding collapsed on him during Monday’s duststorm has brought to attention the danger to commuters’ safety by the numerous hoardings on roadsides, foot overbridges (FOBs) and near traffic intersections.
According to the Noida traffic police, such hoardings distract commuters and those driving vehicles, endangering the lives of people on the roads.
“We have seen that many a time commuters jump traffic signals as they are distracted by roadside advertisements. It is a pan-Noida problem and there is no way to help it. We have raised the issue in the district level meeting and said that all roads, FOBs and traffic signals should be crystal clear so that commuters stay focused on driving and traffic rules,” said Sanjay Singh, SP, traffic.
According to a traffic constable, Monday’s duststorm washed away hundreds of signboards hanging on roadside trees, poles and pillars and ended up injuring cyclists and pedestrians.
“Near Sector 12/22, a cyclist had taken shelter from the duststorm under a tree when a huge signboard hit his cycle. He sustained minor injuries in leg. We later saw several such signboards strewn on the roads but no casualty was reported,” said Rajaram Yadav, a constable.
Intersections such as Sector 12/22, Sector 56, Adobe, Mamura, Sector 18 and others are some areas where advertisements have caused traffic violations. The traffic police has also noticed a women’s safety issue with hoardings hanging from FOBs.
“The FOB near Fortis becomes dark after sunset because of hoardings covering it from both sides. People, especially women, avoid it. The advertisements on the FOB also distract commuters and should not be allowed, as per road safety rules,” said a senior traffic personnel.
The Noida Vikas Manch (NVM), a city-based NGO, has also written to the Noida authority to conduct road safety audits that also take into consideration disturbing and objectionable advertisements on the roads.
“We doubt the authority has ever conducted a road safety audit and taken action to remove objectionable advertisements from roads. We will meet authority chairman Rama Raman soon as after the killing of an innocent man in Monday’s duststorm we are concerned about dangerous advertisements on roads,” said Joginder Singh Awana, president, NVM.