When In Kolkata, Avoid Talking On Phone While Crossing The Road If You Don’t Want Your Phone To Be Confiscated
New Delhi: Do you think using a Bluetooth device and speaking to someone while crossing the road is completely fine? Do you think crossing a road while looking at your mobile phone is okay? If your answer is yes to both the questions, you are wrong. If you happen to be in Kolkata and are habituated to crossing the road while looking at your phone screen or using your mobile phone in any way, Kolkata Traffic Police will detain you and confiscate your phone. The reason being, such acts can be dangerous to both pedestrian and the motorist.
A study of accidents in 2016 and 2017 had revealed that 18% accidents occurred due to dangerous behavior by pedestrians while 9% happened due to their lack of attention. In Kolkata, 31% of the accident deaths involve pedestrians and in order to reduce this number and make pedestrians aware about their recklessness, Kolkata Traffic Police has come up with a way.
Pedestrian safety is an issue that we are trying to address. We have found that most of the pedestrians are not following rules. They use mobile phone while crossing the road. In a bid to change this habit, we are keeping their mobile for half an hour to an hour. It is a temporary confiscation of phone. This move is being implemented at all the 25 traffic guards of Kolkata Traffic Police, says Sumit Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic.
Once the phones are detained, violators are taken to local traffic guard to teach a lesson on road safety and the pivotal role it plays in an individual’s life. The awareness team which consists of local students, club members and officials, come together and talk about the dangers associated with violating basic road safety rules. Not only is this, on a regular basis, the awareness team, goes to different areas and spread the message of road safety.
Talking about the reason behind coming up with such idea and implementing it, Mr Kumar said,
Many pedestrians think that red signals are not for them, and they don’t need to stop at a red light, but they are wrong. Traffic signals are for one and all and everyone needs to follow them. Some pedestrians are not even aware of basic road safety rules and we need to tell them about it.
In Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, the traffic police department has identified 75 major pedestrian crossovers which have become accident prone zones and are now focusing on them.