news Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 05:30
  Ever thought twice about crossing a road when you are clearly not allowed to? If you are in Bengaluru, then think before "jaywalking". Following a warning issued on Sunday, the Bengaluru traffic police came down hard on jaywalkers on Hosur road on Monday, taking 28 of them in custody. The offence would be categorised as a “minor” one. Look up Wikipedia and you would find the good people there have said that jaywalking is “common” in India. “Close to 26 pedestrians (in Bengaluru) have lost their life over the past year in such cases,” says additional commissioner of police (traffic) MA Saleem, to The News Minute. Instances of individuals being penalised for jaywalking are rare, but the malaise has always been there. As a term, jaywalking was coined in the United States in the 1920s. Being “Jay” was common slang for someone from the countryside after there were incidents of pedestrians being hit by a new contraption on city streets. Cars. Over 53 lakh vehicles ply Bengaluru’s roads according to the latest data and the urge to saunter on roads must be curtailed. “They have to be aware,” says Saleem, referring to instances of people on Hosur road.  “People have to understand that it’s for their own safety,” he adds. The fine imposed on those caught jaywalking is Rs 50 and the offender is to appear before a court. The ACP says that the nominal fine was in place as there was the inconvenience of going to court which followed too.“Going to court in itself is a big punishment,” he says. In the past, pedestrians in Bengaluru have complained that there were not enough footpaths and over-bridges to aid them. The ACP says however that the police only plan on cracking down on those areas where pedestrian crossings were in place after the completion of the TenderSURE project.The ACP adds that the police were not zeroing in on any other areas currently either. “We are only looking at instances on Hosur road,” he says, adding that a lot of cases of individuals running across the eight-lane-carriageway is a concern.

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