Kerala HC asks authorities to ensure safety at zebra crossings

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Kochi: The Kerala High Court has directed authorities to take necessary steps to ensure the safety of pedestrians while using designated crossing zones, after looking into a case in which a woman lost her life after being hit by a police vehicle while using a zebra crossing.

Justice Devan Ramachandran said the case exposes the issues with the roads and the drivers who use them.

"Our roads are still woefully inadequate in pedestrian safety. There are seldom pedestrian crossings properly marked and even when they are, very few drivers heed it. This court is fully aware of the rules relating to 'Zebra Crossing' being taught to the learner drivers; but it is evident that they are never enforced," said the judge.

The judge also pointed out that the most vulnerable of all road users are the pedestrians, especially children and the elderly. He further noted, "Pedestrian crossings must be marked and enforced on all main roads -- this is the duty of the authorities and officers concerned."

The woman's case came to the notice of the court, which awarded Rs 48 lakh to a family while it was considering an appeal moved by the Kerala State Insurance Department against an order of a Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT), that awarded the compensation to the husband, children and mother of the woman, identified as Doreen Rola Mendenza.

Doreen was killed when she was hit by a police vehicle as she was crossing a National Highway on a pedestrian zebra crossing. IANS

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