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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Karnataka: The first state to draft a bill protecting Pedestrians & Cyclists

The government is working on a first-of-its-kind law to safeguard pedestrians and cyclists in all Karnataka cities, protecting their rights. The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) has suggested the “Active Mobility Bill, Karnataka 2021,” which mandates the design and development of pedestrian infrastructure and sets penalties for failure.

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The law aims to create a safe and accessible environment for walking and cycling while also ensuring that everyone has an equal space on the roads and streets. Cyclists and pedestrians are the most susceptible, as they account for the majority of traffic deaths. The practical guidelines require that urban local governments develop, construct, and maintain a network of full and linked roadways with suitable footpaths, bike tracks, or shared paths.

The law sets infrastructure inspections and penalties of up to Rs 2 lakh for anybody who breaks the law’s restrictions, including the chairman of the ULB. Continued non-compliance will result in a daily penalty of Rs 5,000. 

The bill also promises to create pedestrianized zones where private vehicles, except those of residents, will be barred. As per Janaagraha’s head of civic, Indian cities are infested with private vehicles due to a lack of vision in urban planning, especially a lack of adequate public transport and non-motorable transport options, but safety remains a serious concern. Walking and cycling remain our best weapons against the impending climate crisis.

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