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Mumbai man displays placards at Thane signal to ensure motorists stop before zebra crossing

Girish Patil ensures that motorist halt their vehicles before the zebra crossing so that children, women and senior citizens can cross the signal easily

mumbai Updated: Feb 07, 2018 14:20 IST
Megha Pol
Megha Pol
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Thane,Ghdobunder Road
Girish Patil displays a placard at the Anandnagar signal along the Ghodbunder Road. (Praful Gangurde)

Although it is mandatory to stop vehicles before the zebra crossing, only a few motorists abide by the rule.

To change the scenario, 31-year-old Girish Patil displays placards at the Anandnagar signal along the Ghodbunder Road for a few hours every morning. He ensures that motorist halt their vehicles before the zebra crossing so that children, women and senior citizens can cross the signal easily.

Patil, a property consultant, has been manning the signal for the past two months and has been joined by a few good Samaritans. His effort gathered attention after a few motorists and pedestrians uploaded his pictures on social media, which helped Patil further his cause.

He said, “My daughter studies at New Horizon School. While dropping her to school, I realised how difficult it is to cross this signal during peak hours. The zebra crossing near the signal is hardly visible. As a result, vehicles don’t halt before it. This leaves no space for the pedestrians to cross the junction safely. Initially, I registered a complaint with the authorities and hoped they would repaint the zebra crossing. But nothing happened.”

Patil said he wrote to the traffic police department, Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), asking them repaint the zebra crossing so that motorists abide by the rule. But all of them kept passing the buck, he added.

“After failing to get a response from the authorities, I decided to spread awareness among motorists myself. Every day at 8.30am, I stop near the signal with placards asking motorists to stop before the zebra crossing. Once the signal turns red, I request motorists to abide by the rule so that people can cross the road safely. In the past 45 days, I’ve observed that motorists who pass through the area daily have started halting their vehicles before the zebra crossing,” Patil added.

A few senior citizens have joined Patil, while others are trying to garner support for his initiative on social media so that it can be implemented at other junctions across Thane.

An MSRDC official said, “In December, we wrote to the TMC and asked it make zebra crossings visible on Ghodbunder Road. We’ll send them a reminder soon.”

First Published: Feb 07, 2018 14:20 IST