One motorist, Bharat, said, “As a motorist, Bangalore has got so many parking issues so I think personally sometimes when I can’t find a parking spot and I quickly want to deliver something, I use the footpath”.
In 2018, the Bangalore Traffic Police started a drive to combat such illegal riding. As of November 2018, 250 motorists were booked under section 279 of the Indian Penal Code.
Pedestrians are of the view that traffic cannot be an excuse for driving on footpaths. One of them said, “Just because of the traffic they get on the footpaths where people are walking, people are sitting, they are selling something. I guess this should be stopped and they should be fined for same.”
Traffic experts say that this law violation can not only lead to fines but also the cancellation of the driver’s license. “Footpaths are very narrow. There are so many trees, so many slabs have come up, in that case two wheelers are also taking a calculated risk of moving on footpaths,” traffic expert M N Sreehari commented.
In March 2018, a video of a woman named Manju Thomas had gone viral, in which she was seen standing on the footpath in an attempt to protest against this. Barricades have also been placed at some places as it is practically impossible for traffic police to guard each and every footpath. Common people’s protests and the initiative of Bangalore Traffic Police might dissuade motorists from driving on footpaths.