Global Transport and Logistics

Transport and logistics from around the world.

Month: May 2016

Driver Alert: When Your Mobile Phone Becomes Dangerous: Peter Owinje

As of December, 2013, 153.3 billion text messages were sent in US, this shows how the mobile phone is highly used by people, in the same year (2013), 3, 154 people were killed and 424, 000 people were injured in motor accident involving distracted drivers. SOURCE: distraction.gov. This may explain why motorists are prohibited to use mobile phone while driving in the State. For instance:

On September 30, 2009, The President of United States, Barrack Obama issued an executive order prohibiting Federal employees from texting while driving on government business or with government equipment.

On October 27, 2010, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a ban that prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving in US.

Nevertheless, in 2011, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration banned all hand-held cell phone use by commercial drivers and drivers carrying hazardous materials in US.

The question is why all these orders or ban on the use of mobile phone while driving on the road? It is because your mobile phone can make the road unsafe for you and other road users. In fact, it is one of the major causes of accident on our roads.

There are a lot of distractions that are likely to happen when driving or using the road; such distractions include talking to passengers while driving; reading; writing; receiving calls or making calls; texting, eating and drinking to mention but a few, they are distractions because they can steal one’s attention. Hence, distraction occurs when one’s attention is directed to different object at the same time of doing something. Therefore, with this understanding, when driving, distraction simply means anything that can cause your eyes and mind to off the road and it also includes, what can cause your hands to off the steering wheel. Distraction on the road places road users such as pedestrian, motorist or cyclist on high risk when using the road, when the drivers are distracted while driving the chances of road accident becomes higher. For instance, in USA, it was reported that 3,328 people were killed in 2010 and in 2011, 3,360 people were killed respectively, in road accidents involving distracted drivers. SOURCE: Center for Disease control and prevention. (CDC), these explain while all road users must avoid distraction whenever they are using the road.

However, most motorists or drivers are part of mobile phone users. Mobile phone benefits its users in many ways but it becomes a dangerous object that can kill you on the road, if it is used while driving. For instance, if your phone rings while driving and you discipline yourself not to pick the call because you want to be safety conscious while using the road but, you try to check or look at the phone screen in order, to know who your caller really is. Truly speaking, by this act, what has just happened to you is nothing but a dangerous distraction that can kill you on the road, why? It is because it takes only a split of second for an accident to occur and whatever that will take your eyes and mind off the road while driving is unwanted dangerous distraction in road transport that can lead to a fatal accident. In addition, it is important for you to know that the use of mobile phone is a distraction that can impair drivers to some degree but texting alone on the mobile phone draws your eyes and mind away from the road for longer period of time than listen to radio or even calling someone on your mobile phone. More so, when you engage in conversation through your mobile phone, while driving, it is important to also know that conversations require your extra thought which will diminish your concentration while driving. The simple truth is that using mobile phone while driving is a risk you must avoid.

Often the time I have seen motorists or drivers receiving calls while driving on the road. I have also seen pedestrians receiving calls or making calls while crossing or using the road; sincerely speaking I have also seen a cyclist receiving call while riding a bike on the road. In fact, some drivers even try to read text on their phone while driving, and some pedestrians also try to text their friends while using the road or walking on the road, these are bad habits that can make our roads unsafe. For instance, texting can take your eyes off the road for 3 to 4 seconds and do you know that it takes a space of 2 seconds for an accident to occur. This explains why mobile phone can become a dangerous object that can kill you on the road. Your safety and the safety of others must be your sincere concern whenever you make use of the road.

However, as a motorist there are things you need to do in order to keep yourself safe on the road and other road users as well. You need to start practicing good driving habits without being forced by law enforcement agencies; you need to see it as your civil responsibility to make the road safer for all road users. However, there are steps you need to take as a motorist in order to make our road safer for all of us, such steps are as follow:

  1. Do not text or read text while driving
  2. Be at alert and focused when driving on the road.
  3. Do not call a man when you know that he is on the road driving.
  4. Avoid eating and drinking while driving.
  5. Be determined to avoid distraction at all cost.
  6. Warn your driver if he’s distracted.
  7. Avoid watching films or videos while driving.
  8. Avoid unnecessary intimate discussion with the passengers.
  9. If possible you may off your mobile phone or put it to silence whenever you are driving.
  10. Park your car safely to make call or receive call if necessary.

Like I have said before, the use of mobile phone when you are behind the wheel can kill you; therefore, I see it as an urgent need to spread awareness of the risk on my blog. At this point, I think it must be socially accepted that the use of mobile phone while driving is a wrong habit and there must be a social movement against it, in order to put a stop to it and I also think that, the best way to end distraction while driving is to educate the public about the danger therein, that their mobile phones may be their mobile killer so to say. This explains why this article is important. Stop being a distracted driver or road user!

Railway Transport system: A notable solution to unemployment in Nigeria: by Peter Owinje.

     A reason why railway was established in Nigeria

Rail transport is the movement of people and goods by using a wheeled transport vehicle, which is made to move on a railway track. In Nigeria during colonial era when railway transport was first established, the primary aim of its establishment was to evacuate agric produce in Nigeria. Since, railway transport has the capacity to carry goods in large quantity; its establishment was fully considered by then.

However, nowadays I see more reasons why railway transport system must be established in most countries especially in Nigeria where there are huge number of unemployed youths. One of the reasons among others is that railway transport system can create direct and indirect jobs for thousands of people. I hope if unemployment problem can be solved or reduced to barest minimum it will give a better life to many Nigerians and it will help the nation’s economy.

  Meaning of unemployment

Unemployment is a common problem in the world today. It is a major social problem that is affecting many youths in different parts of the world most especially in Africa. Unemployment happens when a man who is ready and able to work is searching for an employment over a period of time and he’s unable to find or get employment. Better still, it is when someone of working age is seriously looking for a paid work for weeks or months or years. However, the national unemployment rate in many countries is determined by the percentage of unemployed people in the total labour force.

Unemployment and its consequences

When a man is unemployed his family suffers for lack of money and he will not be able to contribute meaningfully to the economy of a nation at large, when it comes to service and production of goods. More so, unemployed people lack purchasing power and this may also lead to unemployment for other people, when goods and services are not properly or well patronized by fairly large number of people due to unemployment, the producers and the providers of such goods and services may fold up. Furthermore, militancy and other crimes in Nigeria have been linked to high rate of unemployed youths in the country. Hence, the saying, an idle hand is the devil’s work shop. Therefore, high rate of unemployment is a great problem and high risk in any given country that must be addressed.

Financial distress is one of the direct consequences of unemployment, when getting a new job takes a longer time or period job searching becomes more difficult for the job seekers and it may lead to financial worries and anger, these may also explain why some of unemployed youths are involved in undesirable crime in the society

When you consider a lot of challenges job seekers have to face in Nigeria, most especially when they are being deceived and defrauded by employment agencies, then I hope you will agree with me that the high rate of unemployed youths in Nigeria needs more urgent attention better than before.

I personally discovered that transport generally as it were is a great source of employment in any given nation. However, I will like to talk on just mode of transport that can provide thousands of direct jobs to unemployed youths. This mode of transport is railway transport system. It is a special mode of transport that must not be undermined because it has the capacity to provide hundred thousand of jobs if properly maintained. However, at this point, it is important to look at some railway transport companies and their staff strength by this you will agree that railway transport is capable to provide thousands of jobs to thousands of people.

Early days of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC)

“According to Jetson Nwakwo, managing director of the NRC said the company had employed 45,000 people between 1954 and 1975, current employment is only 6,516.” If a single organization as at 1975, provided direct jobs for 45,000 people and the figure for indirect jobs were not inclusive or mentioned, you can now imagine the number of direct and indirect jobs such a single company is likely to provide by now, if it’s properly maintained.

Kenya Government plans to tackle unemployment.

Kenya Government is planning very hard to reduce the number of unemployed citizen in their country through a viable railway transport system.

“The new proposed railway deal in Kenya is expected to create more than 30,000 new direct jobs for Kenyans, while it also has the potential to provide 13,000 indirect jobs through the local companies that are expected to supply local materials and the services needed for the venture.” Source: Daily Nation.

 Indian Railway the 7th largest employer in the world

It is interesting to know that in whole world, railway transport system is the7th largest employer of labour. The name of the railway company is India Railway. It has 1.334 million employees in 2014. Source: Wikipedia. When a single company employed over one million people, you can also imagine indirect jobs such company will also provide for people in its environment.

Pakistan Railways: The Pakistan Railways also provides employment to large number of her citizens, the company employed 82,424 people between year 2010 and 2011. Source: Wikipedia.

Russian Railways: The Russian Railways was established in 18th of September, 2003. However, as at 31st of December, 2011, the company employed 942, 808 people. Source: Wikipedia.

 Other Railway Transport Companies and their Staff Strength

The following companies are rail-manufacturing companies in the world and they also run a railway transport system, hence, it is important to look at the number of direct jobs they provided in each of the company for better understanding.

Bombardier: It is a Canadian company that has 33,800 rail-related employees as at early year of 2010. You can also imagine what the figure will be by now. Railway transport is a major source of employment.

Alstom: This is a company that has its headquarters in France, and in its transport division, it has 27,000 employees.

Siemens: This is a German company that has 19,000 employees in its transport division.

China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock (CSR): Is a China base company it has about 112,000 employees.

China Northern Locomotive and Rolling Stock: It is also one of the rail manufacturing companies that have more than 100,000 employees.

Source credited to: Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry by: Michael Renner and Gary Gardner.

Without a nagging doubt, the existence of mode rail infrastructure in above given countries is a significant source of employments, that makes important contribution to improve quality of life of thousands of people, by providing jobs in thousands to unemployed youths and boosting the economy. Therefore, my earlier assertion that railway transport system is a notable solution to unemployment is not an over statement but, a stark truth.

 

 

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