With the recent ban of tricycle (Keke) and motorcycle on Lagos main roads for the purpose of ensuring safety on Lagos roads, it is obvious that the Lagos State Government is keen on preventing needless deaths on the roads. Yet, are we certain that a good percentage of our roads will be safer or less herculean to ply after all of these.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to unsafe road usage, we can’t just possibly pin it down to a particular thing or reason. In order to reduce road traffic casualties, all system designers such as Engineers, Educationists, Emergency Management, Town planners, Law Enforcement Agencies, Medical Practitioners, Fleet Operators and others will have to key into this vision. The task of ensuring safer roads does not start and end on the patrols and enforcement on the highways.
Today, we want to examine some other important causes of road traffic crash in Nigeria that are ignored and how we as citizens can help mitigate against the crash occurrences on the roads.
Disregard of Road Signs: A lot of drivers are guilty of disregard for road signs. Road signs serve a number of purposes. They alert drivers of the speed limit for a particular roadway. They also help bring attention to detours, construction work, and hazards, such as sharp turns and steep hills.
Highway signs help reduce the rate of car accidents, they help ensure the safety of pedestrians, and help drivers know how to communicate with other drivers in a non-verbal way that keeps us all safe. Road signs should be interactive and represent the true position of things, they will command respect, obedience and compliance. In order to prevent needless deaths, it is important that road signs are duly obeyed.
Poor Road Infrastructure: The quality of roads is another major cause of road traffic crash. Roads should be adequately designed to minimise bottlenecks and to ensure better traffic flow, as well as reducing roadside hazards. This can have a major impact on road safety. Cleverly-designed infrastructure that encourages sensible, attentive driving will also reduce accidents.
For example, replacing traffic signals with roundabouts significantly improves the safety of road junctions. It is important that urban planning also take road safety considerations into account.
Non-compliance of Road Contractors: Enforcement of road traffic laws has been improving impressively however, road construction contractors should also be compelled to buy into road safety vision. They must be proactive and act in the line of safety, use quality materials and work efficiently producing quality roads.
Contractors, Traffic management/ safety and other law enforcement agencies should ensure that road signs that gives misleading information are not on the roads at any particular time. For instance, when contractors are through with work on a particular route, the road signs of men at work and other related signs should be removed.
Road Unworthiness of Vehicles: Many commercial vehicles are not road worthy yet they ply the road a lot of times thereby putting the lives of commuters at risk. The kind of vehicles plying our roads should be thoroughly checked. Specifications of vehicles to be used on our roads should be the type that will ensure safety of lives and property.
Promptness of Emergency Management Services: The efficiency of Emergency Management Services should be examined and enhanced. Rescue and prompt removal of obstacles, broken down and crashed vehicles on all major highways, is a key factor in ensuring road safety. For instance, just last week a tanker fell on Ikorodu road, at Fadeyi by 5:30am and the tanker was not cleared off the road till 4pm. This caused a lot of traffic hitches for road users throughout the day.
Above all, it is very important that every driver on the road is equipped with the adequate knowledge and skills to drive before he/she enters the car to drive on the road. In addition, there must be Driver Training and Re-Training as well as Improved Insurance policy that will deter the current impunity towards victims and obedience to road safety rules and regulations.
HEI upholds and works THAT NONE SHOULD DIE hence we advocate for safety of road use by all road users; Pedestrians, Drivers, Tricylcists, Motor Cyclists.
Road Safety is a state of mind, road traffic crash is absence of mind.
STAY ALERT! STAY ALIVE!