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Karnataka first state to draft a bill protecting pedestrians, cyclists

Making provisions to inspect infrastructure works, the bill also prescribes penalties up to Rs 2 lakh on anyone failing to comply with its rules
Last Updated : 30 December 2021, 04:38 IST

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The government is preparing a first-of-its-kind bill offering protection to pedestrians and cyclists, which will also ensure their rights in all cities of Karnataka.

The Directorate of Urban Land transport (DULT) has published the draft ‘Active Mobility Bill, Karnataka 2021’ mandating Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to design and build infrastructure for pedestrians and fix penalties for failure.

The bill envisages equitable space on roads and streets, while striving to create safe and accessible environment for walking and cycling. Pedestrians and cyclists are classified as most vulnerable since they account for most road fatalities.

The bill holds urban local bodies dutybound and responsible to design, construct and maintain a network of “complete and connected streets, with footpaths of adequate width and cycle tracks or shared paths”.

Making provisions to inspect infrastructure works, the bill also prescribes penalties up to Rs 2 lakh on anyone failing to comply with its rules, including the head of the ULB. Continued non-compliance will attract an additional Rs 5,000 penalty per day.

Dubbing the draft legislation progressive, Janaagraha’s head of civic participation Srinivas Alavilli said it offers hope by legislating the rights of pedestrians and cyclists. He also called for a thorough debate on all the cities and towns in Karnataka.

“Right now, pedestrians have to fend for themselves,” Alavilli noted. “Many want to cycle but safety remains a serious concern. Walking and cycling remain our best weapons against the impending climate crises and laws (like the Active Mobility Bill) make them the front and centre of our cities as they should be.”

He said Indian cities are infested with private vehicles due to lack of vision in urban planning, especially lack of adequate public transport and non-motorable transport options.The bill also promises to create pedestrianised zones where private vehicles, except that of local residents, will be barred.

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Published 29 December 2021, 19:39 IST

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