UAE | General

Jaywalkers abuse fence gap on Al Nahda Road

Motorists on Al Nahda road may not have to pay diya if jaywalker's fault is proven in accident

  • By Faisal Masudi, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:24 January 6, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Faisal Masudi/Gulf News
  • Several jaywalkers risk life and limb to cross the 80km/h Al Nahda Road in Sharjah everyday, through a gap in the barrier fence, even though a pedestrian bridge was built for them.

Dubai: Jaywalkers are risking death or serious injury by abusing a gap in the divider on a busy Sharjah road to cross over, even though a pedestrian bridge was installed for safe crossing.

They dodge cars while darting across the busy 80km/h Al Nahda Road after passing through a space in the metal railing, placing themselves and motorists in danger.

A number of pedestrians have been killed on the road over the years in hit-and-run accidents following undesignated crossings, a top Sharjah Police official had warned.

Another police official told Gulf News on Thursday that jaywalkers would be referred to court if caught crossing illegally at unofficial points like the one on Al Nahda Road. He added that motorists who fatally hit jaywalkers would not have to pay the compensatory “blood money” if the jaywalkers’ fault is proven in court.

The opening in the road barrier has been left there for a speed camera; it is located about a kilometre from a pedestrian overpass that links to Sahara Centre shopping mall.

Short cut

Instead of walking over to the designated crossing, several pedestrians in the area illegally jaywalk across the road as a short cut.

“You’ll find a hundred people doing this any given day, it’s risky but who wants to walk so far to the bridge?” a Pakistani jaywalker said, declining to give his name.

“I only get a small break from work to go and do a personal errand on the other side of the road, I can’t waste time walking to where the bridge is. This way [jaywalking] takes only a few seconds. Besides, in the summer, the heat is unbearable and few people will want to take extra steps.”

Women and teenagers are among those jaywalking at the unofficial crossing point.

An Arab pharmacist working opposite to where the speed camera is, said she sees dozens of jaywalkers daily. “It’s risky, but they do this all the time.”

Inconvenient location

An Asian labourer said one bridge on the road was not enough. “Few people around these parts will walk that much to the bridge, climb up the stairs, cross over and walk back again,” he said.

“You’ll also have to carry the shopping bags — from the Sahara mall or grocery shops — on the way back,” he added.

Before the overpass opened in early 2009, the road was notoriously dicey for both motorists and residents, who mostly wanted to cross over from Al Nahda area to Sahara Centre.

“The objective of installing the pedestrian bridge is to prevent hit-and-run accidents as crossing the road from undesignated areas and jumping over fence has cost many residents their lives,” the head of the Anjad patrol department at Sharjah Police had then said.

Built at a cost of Dh7 million, the pedestrian bridge has a height-clearing of 6.5 metres and spans 48 metres across the Al Nahda Road.

However, pedestrians still used to slip through other gaps — made by vandals — in the metal fence separating two sides of the road.

Authorities have long since sealed off those openings, but the one at the speed camera is still being abused.

Comments (14)

  1. Added 13:48 January 7, 2013

    It would be more convenient and people will prefer, if this facility will be electronic because walking upwards in hot weather is difficult so people avoid using bridges.

    faisal, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 13:39 January 7, 2013

    If these people can't obey the rules they need to be fined, and the authorities need to put fences without any gaps, and have high walls & fences so they cannot climb. Putting up more overhead bridges and crossings is a must, not only at signals, between two signals as well.

    Nizam, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:56 January 7, 2013

    I also raised many times on different forums that Sharjah authorities should installed three pedestrian bridges in front of Ansar Mall, Safeer Mall and at Epco pumps on Al Nahda road. Imagine there is no pedestrian crossing from "Welcome to Sharjah" on (Ittihad Road) to Sharjah City Center.

    Omar Farooq, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:05 January 7, 2013

    Thanks for GN for publishing this matter. I have been living for 6 years in Al Nadah, exactly opposite the unauthorised crossing. This is a very dangerious place where so many pedestrians cross over in the morning/evening. The pedestrian bridge opposite Sahara Centre wont serve the purpose to all except to a certain crowd. But my request is for the relavent authorities to build a pedestrian bridge near the speed camara and another in front of Ansar Mall. Since AlNadah is developing, the authorities should also provide with facilities like building bridges & for comfort the day to day life. My plea to construct two bridges to save valuble humen lives PLEASE.

    tuan, sharjah, India

  5. Added 11:44 January 7, 2013

    I do not support the jaywalkers, but yes i would like inform all the car users on this road to walk once and try to come to the oppsite side of the road with overhead bridges either far away or no crossing at all, same as ansar mall, Sahara mall. No one likes to risk their life and is willingly doing it for fun, it's just a simple reason there is no provision for jaywalkers at most of the places. one of the place would suggest for the bridges is neear the GGICO metro station for an only one building at the opposite side of Chilies Al khour plaza which there is no other way to except to walk from Deira city centre metro station. hope the car user change their statments once they face it at least once in life.

    Tanmay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:41 January 7, 2013

    The pedestrian crossings in many large interchanges are not user friendly for pedestrians nor the bridges. There is no hold and the distance between steps are too high and I often get knee pain if I climb. With some baggage its too difficult. Secondly, they are constructed very far apart. For eg. in Dubai Mankhool area if one has to go to Standard Chartered Bank of the residential area, around there is no crossing except one near Ramada Hotel or near Manhattan hotel which are way too long. One cannot walk all the back or forward, cross and walk back to the destination. There should be more walk bridges conveniently located. Thirdly, the walk bridges should be underground and not with too many steps to walk. Finally, the timing at signal for pedestrian crossings are too short unable to be completed for older people and parents carrying young kids. In the event if one is unable to cross one leg, the foot path in the middle of the road is too narrow and it's so scary to stand there when the vehicles move at high speed that we may be flown apart.

    Shanti, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 11:35 January 7, 2013

    Though well reported by the media no safe access has been provided to the Alnahda Park. Safe access across the road is primary requirement. Planning should incorporate that. I suggest that the Park be closed instead of inviting accidents. There is no safe access to the park for most of the residents around it. Children dash across the street to the park and the should not be called "jaywalkers"

    J Krishnan, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 11:19 January 7, 2013

    I highly appreciate Gulf News for bringing up this issue. The authorities have already provided foot overbridge in this area and also considered to provide more subways in Industrial areas and in front of Ansar Mall also. We can't imagine the people are simply crossing the Dubai - Sharjah Al Wahda Road and Al Nahda in front of Sahara Centre. These people should be punished. They put their lives & motorists' lives in danger. I am a middle income earning person and regularly passing through this area, if anything happens it will change my life and my family depends on me. So I am very concious and take more care while I am driving through this area with prayers to God. This type of careless people must be punished and became a lesson to others.

    Anil, Sharjah, India

  9. Added 11:11 January 7, 2013

    Authorities, please make some more overbridges or underpasses for pedestrians, especially in front of Ansar Mall.

    Joby, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 11:03 January 7, 2013

    I was thinking why no news about this comes in Gulf News as I had witnessed many deaths in the past 2 years. The newspaper has taken the photograph for the gap in front of Speed Radar, but I haven't witnessed any accidents at this particular spot. The spot which is the deadliest is around 500 metres from this spot towards Sahara mall, just before the diversion into Al Nahdha. The latest fatal (death) most probably on Saturday around 8pm where one woman was stuck down. Actually, if I go back 2 years down the line, this entire road was fenced except the Speed Radar one. The fence was removed by the authorities only for some incident 2 years back, and after that it was never put back. many accidents happened after that happened which mostly resulted in deaths, but the fence was never put back till this date. The pedestrian over bridge is near to Sahara Mall, and it does not or more correct will be to say cannot serve the purpose. It is quite far away from these spots and totally inconvenient for people who want to cross. The best the authorities can do is to put back the fence so that people are not enticed to use it. This is the only solution for this problem.

    Mohammad, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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