Kolkata, February 27: In a new move to ensure common man’s safety, the Kolkata police have started detaining pedestrians who are using mobile phones while crossing roads. This is a part of a targeted effort by the cops to curb accidents.
It is seen that the cops are also temporarily seizing the mobile phones and returning them to the owners an hour later. With pedestrian deaths constituting about 31% of accidental deaths in the city, police said they were forced to take some actions to stem the rot.
A study of accidents in 2016 and 2017 had revealed that dangerous behaviour by pedestrians led to 18% accidents and another 9% happened due to their inattention. A sergeant at Thakupukur traffic guard said they were detaining pedestrians found using Bluetooth devices on the spot while crossing the road.
Police said they have identified specific areas in the city where pedestrian crossovers have become a major safety issue. This includes the Tollygunge Metro, Thakurpukur Bazar, Bagha Jatin and Parama Island crossings. The issue is not confined to pedestrian safety alone. Absence of pavements has an impact on traffic flow as well.
Vehicular traffic often moves at a snail’s pace on this stretch as pedestrians, two-wheelers, cars and pushcart vendors share the limited road space available on either side of the stretch. Therefore to curb unwanted accidents the traffic department has taken this step.