Bikes riding on pavements should be banned!

The latest fad in Bangalore is motorbikes racing down pavements to get to the top of the line of traffic halted at a traffic signal. Woe betide if you are a pedestrian on Richmond Road or Residency Road or any of the large arterial roads in the heart of the city.


Vehicles plying on pavements pose danger to pedestrians. Pic: Marianne De Nazareth


Very often you will get a motorbike rider or scooterist, provoking your annoyance by honking at you to get out of his way – on the pavement! It’s a dangerous bane that is spreading and it is because we pedestrians are reticent and very obligingly move away, that they have the audacity to do it in the first place.


As we all know, the road is for the vehicle and the pavement is for us a pedestrian. If we walk on the road even if the pavement is clogged, that is considered jay walking and a traffic policeman can book you.

Similarly if a bike rider comes onto the pavement, the traffic policeman should book him. Since the police are busy manning the lights and cannot be everywhere at the same time, a law should be passed in the city banning the use of the pavement by motobike riders. This is really a given, and we should not need a law to understand this – but obviously in our city it is not understood or conveniently flouted.

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About Marianne de Nazareth 16 Articles
Marianne de Nazareth is a freelance writer and adjunct faculty, St. Joseph's College and COMMITS.


  1. The simple reason behind the article is we DO have a problem in Bangalore with bikes riding on pavements and honking at pedestrians.

    It is a known fact that it’s illegal, but we pedestrians have to enforce it and make the traffic police fine the riders, just like jumping traffic signals.

  2. @Arkin Akshar: Is it the same if (commercial) taxis/auto rickshaws using your street to park while they wait for their customers?

  3. Oh, and Marianne, if a biker honks at you to give him way on a footpath, just don’t oblige, that’s it! B-)

  4. I feel the title of the article is ridiculous. Because, according to the law, riding on the pavement is illegal :).
    @KNG Rao: I have two independent houses, but I maintain that,( unless the traffic police has a no parking sign on the street ) I have no right to tell someone to not park in front of my house. Who am I to own the road? Only if the vehicle is parked in front of my gate, or the vehicle has not been claimed for 12-24 hours, will I get skeptical.

  5. It is indeed a sad day for all of us so called literates, including me! Just imagine when I take my children to school on a bike or scooter and happily drive on footpaths, what exactly is the message I am giving them? That driving on footpath is perfectly legal and sensible way of beating others. Are we not already creating the next generation with a built in mindset that breaking law is the rule of the land?

    We blame the westerners for many things but if one discipline that I love them for is to follow rules while driving, eating etc. They take real care to drive home this message to their children and no wonder the next generation automatically follows.

  6. parking of 2/4wheelers in front of the residences for long hours day/night as a matter of right, amounting to encroaching on the privacy of the residents should be discouraged The residents must have a right to say for no parking.
    Riding on the footpath should be treated as traffic offence Police/BBMP should look into these problems

  7. Thanks for the followup with the police department Subramaniam. Can you please share the email ID with us too. I have a few photographs of offenders in action.

  8. Wow! Kudos to Citizen Matters! I have always said our main stream media have no teeth and are not as productive as you the alternative media.

    More power to your arm Citizen Matters!

  9. Citizen Matters forwarded this thread to Praveen Sood, Traffic Police Commissioner for Bangalore, and he had this to say:

    I fully agree and we continue to take tough action against such violations. Whatever we do is not even 20% of the actual violations…because such offences take place on the midblocks an d traffic police is present only on the junctions. People can photograph such violations and load on our facebook or send by email. we will take action amounting to dangerous driving.



  10. Ive been toying with the idea of a “Bring back our Pavements” Campaign”. Thanks Marianne to bringing it to light…
    With clean, walkable pavements people would prefer to walk and avoid taking out their cars….
    right now, our pavements are a nightmare ( if they even exist)…not to mention becoming race tracks!!
    Have you seen the abysmal apology for a pavement theyre putting up near the Trinity Circle Metro station….short of walking sideways, ducking the stairs and avoiding the pillars!
    Ours are the only cities in the world where walking is discouraged.

  11. Well said ma’am.

    This issue had been bugging me for a long time.

    Hope atleast by now those motorists learn their lesson. If not their DL’s should be confiscated for not less than 3 years for driving on the pavement!!!

  12. Marianne de Nazareth —The law exists!!!
    It is the police who do not inforce it.

    Mario Miranda

  13. Why doesn’t the government use some portion of the fines they collect to fix the traffic issues and stop two wheelers on the pavements? About time some action was taken here to make pedestrians feel safer!

  14. Yes we need to be more vocal about our rights as pedestrians. The usual “swalpa adjust maadi” attitude will not do here.

  15. We have to stop this shameful behaviour. There is really no need for the bike to go speedy on pavement but if one fellow does it all will copy cat.
    The police must spot fine 100 rupees and they will stop it.

  16. thanks, I had brought attention to this problem several months ago in my blog on use of pavements. And we have to keep on talking about it. I have pointed this out to policemen but they do not do anything. Pedestrians are II class citizens in this city.

  17. There is already a law in place, forbidding two wheelers on pavements, the police have even prosecuted a few riders under this rule, but it IS indeed infuriating. I usually note down vehicle number and time, place etc and pass on a complaint to the police station…

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