The ministry has issued the instruction following a direction issued by the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety to reduce pedestrian deaths on highways. Government data show that the number of pedestrians killed in road crashes on NHs increased by 22% in 2021 compared to the previous year. In absolute numbers, 17,113 pedestrians lost their lives on NHs compared to 13,882.
In a circular issued on Wednesday, the ministry said the officials concerned must incorporate the pedestrian safety provisions such as sidewalks, guardrails and pedestrian crossings including foot over bridges and underpasses across the NH network. These will also be verified during road safety audits.
“The development of pedestrian facilities and their proper implementation at all stages of a road project (design, construction and O&M) is paramount for the safety of road users. While planning and designing the pedestrian facilities, the overall objectives would be continuity, comfort and safety of pedestrians thereby reducing pedestrian fatalities while ensuring obstruction free mobility of traffic,” the circular said.
It added that pedestrian facilities should be planned in an integrated manner with the aim to reduce pedestrian conflicts with vehicular traffic to the minimum and to ensure safe and smooth pedestrian flow.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users.