Crossing a busy road is a rather dangerous attempt. Ideally, pedestrians, who wish to cross the road should use the “overhead” bridge or “flyover” if there is one.
But as the cost of building the above two items is rather high, the Majlis Perbandaran or the Town Council Authorities feel the best other alternative to the overhead bridge is the “zebra crossing”.
As such, you can see a lot of such crossings near schools and busy areas in the town that are painted with the familiar stripes of Black and White, depicting the colours of a zebra.
Such areas denote to the driver, the presence of a zebra crossing.
What are zebra crossings actually? Zebra crossing are intended to assist pedestrians cross busy roads. It’s normally painted near schools, super markets and other busy areas.
Traffic lights, especially near schools, normally have zebra crossings to help “wardens” guide school children cross roads safely.
But come to ponder about it, how safe are our zebra crossings?
Allow me to relate one incident with regards to this crossing. A young primary school girl was unfortunately knocked down at a zebra crossing, right in front of her own school.
Not only was there a zebra crossing, there was even a traffic light also. And the irony of all was that the traffic light was Red, indicating right of way for the school girl to proceed walking.
Unfortunately, the child died. Today, the school authorities have since decided to close the “front” gates. This incident happened in Klang town, at one of the premier Chinese primary school, a few years back.
If such incidents can happen at a zebra crossing itself, we therefore should ask ourselves, “are our zebra crossings in reality safe?”
Before proceeding further, permit me to inform you, as drivers, that ignoring a zebra crossing violates Section 75 of the Road Transport Act 1978 or the Akta Pengangkutan Jalan 1978. It carries a fine of RM300.
Zebra crossings will be of no use, if stricter actions are not taken on mindless, senseless and errant drivers who choose to put pedestrian’s lives in danger.
Heavier fines should be imposed, and immediately too. For those who commit such atrocious acts of driving, should have their driving license banned for life. And jailed as well.
The law does not permit a driver to be caned. If not, a few “lashes” would definitely do a lot of good.
To end this article, allow me to quote you another incident regarding zebra crossings.
An 80 year old, senior citizen in Lucky Garden was attempting to cross a zebra crossing area. A reckless driver nearly knocked him down. The old man expressed his displeasure. And you know what?
The driver alighted from his car and slapped the old man!
Until and unless Malaysian drivers learn to be courteous and law abiding, such unwarranted incidents will continue to exist.