On October 22, the greatest fear of pedestrians in Georgia happened in Kutaisi – a car hit two teenagers walking across the street on the zebra crossing. Luckily, both 15 year old were not killed, but injured and they have a long journey to heal. All when they were crossing legally on a zebra, where pedestrians are supposed to have a right-of-way.
The video of this horrible moment has gone viral – because every day, on every street, in every city in Georgia, each of us has at least one near-miss of the same fate. A driver ignores traffic signs, refuses to respect the right-of-way pedestrians have when using a zebra crossing. Unfortunately, all the above mentioned violations do not get due response of law enforcement agencies – because the authorities do not arrest, charge, or prosecute these violations.
Iare Pekhit urges the Ministry of Internal Affairs to relevantly react to this incident and inform society of the results due to high public interest. We also encourage the Ministry to increase joint efforts to educate drivers about the rights of pedestrians and to consistently enforce and fine those drivers who either injure citizens or place them in physical danger.
For that reason, on November 20th, the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims Iare Pekhit, Alliance of Georgia for Safe Roads, together with other Civil Society organizations will organize a protest action on Rustaveli Ave in Tbilisi.
Iare Pekhit is a member-based pedestrian rights organization that uses different tactics to return public space to its rightful owners.