Road safety, while driving a car, involves many aspects that contribute to the overall safety of the people using the road. The roads can be used as a passenger/driver of a vehicle or as a pedestrian. Pedestrian road safety continues to be a big concerning point especially in developing countries like India, where the road infrastructure is very poor, and the legal rules are not enforced properly nor are they followed by the road users. In India’s capital alone, almost 670 pedestrians lost their lives in a year. This is a very alarming rate and the biggest bitter point in these tragedies is that they could have been avoided, had the basic rules been followed, or the road drivers were more aware or trained about driving their vehicles. Here are some pedestrian safety rules that you as a road driver must follow, ensure the safety of pedestrians on the road-
Always follow the speed limits
In India, the speed limits are taken as a joke, and it is common to see the vehicles being driven at highway speeds inside the city limits. The speed limits are provided for a certain reason, and they are selected based on road conditions, traffic, and other factors. If you follow the speed limits, then you can avoid any unfortunate accident by quickly taking timely action, in the event of an emergency or if any pedestrian comes into your way suddenly. By following the speed limits, you essentially create a safe motoring environment, which takes care of the safety of everyone on the road. If you happen to kill somebody while driving rashly, then you can be prosecuted under the offense of rash and negligence, which invites punishment up to 2 years.
Be more aware of surroundings
Another important rule to follow for the safety of pedestrians on the road is that as a driver, you must be aware of the surroundings if you happen to drive in a rush area. Areas such as hospitals, schools, etc can be very dangerous and anyone can appear suddenly in front of your car. So to avoid that, be very careful while approaching a blind corner or crossing a stationary bus. Passengers could be deboarding from a stationary bus, and they can become a hazard to you. Use your horn generously in such a scenario, taking in mind any no-horn rule enforced. If you see that a pedestrian is about to cross the road, then always assume that he will not wait for you to stop. This kind of confusion between the driver and the pedestrians has caused many accidents in the past. Take the defensive approach while driving in dense traffic.
Be less distracted
No doubt the current communication devices have completely changed the way we live and work, but they have their downsides too. The current mobile phones have become a nuisance while driving. Most of the drivers of the vehicle can be seen driving with their eyes glued to the screens, unaware of the driving conditions in front of them. This has caused many accidents. Mobile phones have contributed to about a 10% increase in fatality rates and the sad part is that the pedestrians are at the receiving end in this whole game. So to avoid it, you must become a responsible driver and never use your mobile to record Instagram Reels, texts, or calls while driving. Above that all, it is an offense to do such activities and involves jail term too, if death is caused due to this negligence act.
Know the right to way
In-country like India, the car is associated with the status symbol, and many vehicle owners feel that they own the road while driving their vehicles. They do not give two hoots about the right of way of the pedestrians, and they are often seen occupying the zebra crossing, which is meant for the pedestrians to cross the road. In bad weather conditions too, they are seen driving rashly, putting the lives of innocent pedestrians at risk. To tackle this problem, we must become responsible citizens and treat the pedestrians with some respect. The road is meant for use by everybody and no one can claim to be above anybody.
So these are some basic pedestrian safety rules that can ensure safety for the pedestrians on the road. Along with the duty of the car driver to drive safely, the pedestrians also have an equal responsibility to ensure that they do not become a threat to the vehicles. They must use the designated crossing areas, subways and do not indulge in jaywalking. Both drivers and pedestrians share equal responsibility in this game.