Globally zebra crossings give rights of way on the roads to the pedestrians. But, the rule on the road is unquestionably different in Guwahati.
Often it has been seen that drivers in Guwahati don’t respect zebra crossings, and accelerate their vehicles when they see pedestrians waiting at one end of the black and white stripes, and waiting to cross the road.
A lot of drivers shamelessly stop on the zebra crossings at the traffic points, making it extremely difficult for the pedestrians to use the notified crossing path on the busy roads. Surprisingly, traffic police also don’t bother to force the drivers at the busy points to stop before reaching the zebra crossings.
The traffic point at ABC in Guwahati is probably the deadliest crossing for pedestrians to cross the road in Guwahati because the zebra crossings are like the battle fields. The two zebra crossings at the point are wrongly placed, and the vehicles take U-turn over it.
As a result, while trying to cross the roads at ABC point, people often are forced to put their running skills to a test. The challenge gets tougher when the traffic lights don’t work. Many people were hit by motorbikes and scooters at the traffic point.
Often school children need to wait for several minutes to safely cross roads because of the unruly traffic. As children get lessons on zebra crossing since their childhood days, most of them expect that the traffic will stop for them to cross. But the reality is different.
Unfortunately, most drivers do not even understand the significance of zebra crossings, and even the Public Works Department also does not bother to regularly paint the zebra crossings. There is need for awareness programmes for public on traffic etiquette.