Global Transport and Logistics

Transport and logistics from around the world.

Category: road safety (Page 2 of 2)

3 Reasons Why Sharing Road with Haulage Trucks in Nigeria is Worrisome

Many people of high caliber and prominent men of worthy character in Nigeria have lost their lives or died young in road accidents involving all kind of haulage trucks. Recently, on June 28, 2018, on Otedola Bridge, Ojodu Berger Lagos Nigeria, a fuel tanker truck exploded killing people and not less than 54 vehicles were burnt.  In 2015, a haulage truck caring unlatched container fell on a bus in Illishan, killing 11 occupants that were students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, (OOU), Ogun State and the driver of the said bus. In addition, on July 12, 2016, there was an accident involving a petroleum tanker which crushed 3 cars, not less than 100 people died in that accident in Okogbe area of Rivers State. It is also interesting to note that properties worth millions, if not billions, were destroyed in different locations across the country in accidents caused by haulage trucks. For instance, in 2015, not less than 21 vehicles, 44 shops, and 3 houses were thoroughly destroyed by a fire accident caused by a petrol tanker that fell off the bridge in Iyana Ipaja area of Lagos-State. If one single petrol tanker accident destroyed such amount of properties, you can imagine what 2 or more petrol tanker accidents could do to the society. This may probably explain to you why sharing the road with articulated vehicles or petrol tankers still remain worrisome in the heart of many people. According to former Corps Marshall of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Mr. Osita Chidoka, road accident involving tanker drivers and road haulage trucks between January and March 2009 were 2,119 accidents and 301 deaths. The fact that this happened in 3 months is shocking. With this report, it means on the average there were 23 accidents every day and not less than 3 lives were lost every day. In addition, in 2015, the Corps Marshall of FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, at a stakeholder’s summit noted that in 2013, a total of 21,199 vehicles were involved in crashes in which 1, 495 were tankers or trailer related. However, from the above given statistics by Corps Marshalls, it is clearly noticeable that the rising road accidents involving tanker drivers and haulage trucks and the recorded deaths from these accidents are increasingly worrisome. Nevertheless, there are 3 reasons why high rate of accident involving petrol tankers and haulage trucks couple with high rate of deaths from these avoidable accidents remain worrisome to road users, however, here are the reasons:
  1. Near-absence of both commercial and government driving school for articulated vehicles and tanker drivers.  
Training is very important for all haulage and tanker drivers, most especially those that haul hazardous materials that demand special handling skills. In addition, haulage trucks use compressed air brake system that requires additional training and basic knowledge of proper maintenance, otherwise it will be difficult for truckers to operate such vehicles properly. Why? It is because the manner of applying brake in air brake system is quite different from common hydraulic brake system. In fact, in some developed countries you are not allowed to drive any haulage truck that uses air pressure brake system without additional training and license to operate such vehicles. However, since there isn’t enough reputable training schools for tanker drivers and truckers hence, most of them end up being trained by their master (i.e. senior driver) who may also be clueless. Consequently, we have many truck drivers who do not know simple traffic rules and road signs.
  1. An unusual life-style of some truck drivers in Nigeria.
Personally, as an individual, I keep wondering about the lifestyle of some of the truck and haulage drivers. Some of them prefer to be on the road for more than 24 hours probably to make more money. In other words, when it is time for them to rest they hardly go to their houses to rest. They prefer to sleep on the road, buy food on the road and when they are sick they buy drugs from drug hawkers instead of going to hospital or a reputable pharmacy store to get good drugs. And at times they engaged in self medications. In addition, some of these truckers see alcoholic drinks as a normal drink for refreshment; hence, you see them moving around with bottles of alcohol or alcohol sachet; painfully enough, they see it as normal lifestyle for them to drink alcohol before driving. What a misconception! Hence, you see many of them driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This is highly worrisome. More so, high level of indiscipline coupled with wrong attitude towards public safety and trespass or infringement on the right of other motorists are also responsible for high rate of accident involving tanker and haulage drivers. All of these are undesirable lifestyle common among tanker and haulage drivers in Nigeria.
  1. Poor safety consciousness on the part of truck owners and truck drivers.
Every time I travel through Lagos-Ibadan expressway I always marvel at my observations: if you travel on the said expressway you will see quite a number of haulage truck accidents. At times you see trucks fall on the road like a piece of paper. At times you will see 2 or more trailers entering the bush probably as a result of brake failure or the driver sleeping behind the wheel. I wonder if all these trucks are properly maintained before they are used and I also wonder if all these truckers are safety conscious. Truly speaking, lack of safety consciousness among the truck and tanker drivers is highly worrisome. Furthermore, it also baffles me when I see unlatch containers dangerously placed on an articulated vehicles, and the driver moves such vehicle freely on the road without being checked by the traffic regulatory agencies such as the Police, the FRSC and the State Vehicle Inspection Office. A significant number of road accidents on our roads are caused by unlatched containers that fell off the trucks. For instance, on Christmas Day in 2013 a woman with her 4 children and 5 other people were killed when a container fell on a stationary commuter bus at Alaba Suru, in Lagos. In addition, on May 21, 2014, the brake of a truck carrying unlatched container failed and the container fell on a moving bus at Toyota Bus-Stop on Oshodi-Apapa expressway, Lagos; no death was recorded from the incident but the drivers were seriously injured. More so, on September 3, 2015, a truck carrying a container fell on Ojuelegba Bridge on Funsho Williams Avenue in Lagos and landed on a Sport Utility Vehicle, (SUV), 3 people died in this sad accident. All the above given accidents probably would have been avoidable accidents if safety was fully considered by the truckers before they embarked on the journey. Really, if we all see road safety as our top priority and inevitable responsibility of all road users, then catalogue of accidents and deaths on our road transport system will definitely reduce. Without any element of doubt, poor safety attitude on the part of the truck drivers has increased the rate of accident on our roads. Nonetheless, it is important to note that the number of registered vehicles operating on Nigerian roads is increasing day by day. It is also noted, that not less than 7 million registered vehicles are currently operating on Nigerian roads (Source: FRSC). This shows that the majority of Nigerians rely much more on road transport system for their mobility needs. A senior rank officer in FRSC, Mr. Lukan U. Ukpi, stated that road transport accounted for over 75% of mobility needs in Nigeria. More so, lack of effective rail transport system and high cost of travel by air transport have increased much pressure on road transport system in Nigeria and as a result of this, hardly will you see a day growing old without occurrence of road accident on our national roads. Since majority of Nigerians depend on road transportation for their mobility, hence, there is an urgent need to tackle the high rate of accident and death caused by haulage trucks and petroleum tankers. Government should encourage and establish more driving schools for trucks and haulage drivers; the unusual life style of truck drivers should also be checked; minimum safety standard and appropriate sanction for default must not be compromised. These among others are the ways to reduce catalogue of unwanted accidents and avoidable deaths caused by haulage trucks and tanker drivers on our roads, otherwise, sharing roads with them may be hellish.

High Rate of Road Accidents: An Act of God or a Human Error?

My observation revealed that each time an accident occurs on Nigerian roads, fairly large number of people believe it is an act of God. Therefore, you see many of the motorists, most especially the commercial ones drive recklessly on the roads even when they are sharing the road with haulage trucks. It is even more obvious among commercial motorcycle operators who believe that no accident can occur except God allows it and that no matter how reckless they drive, it can never lead to an accident. This is an erroneous belief that can result to an untimely death. As an individual, a high rate of road accidents in Nigeria is neither acceptable to me nor do I think it is acceptable to any Nigerian but oftentimes, when you see an accident occur on Nigerian roads, it will not take you a long time before you hear people giving their final conclusion on the whole matter by saying “It is an act of God”. They easily accept any accident that happens on Nigerian roads as an act of God. What a wrong conception! So, one may wonder if God had pre-destined many Nigerians to die by road accidents on daily basis. In addition, one may even be tempted to ask why God would choose road accidents as a means to kill thousands of people in Nigeria. These, among others, are the likely questions that may readily come to mind when one ponders on the frequency of road accidents and the general belief or common conclusion of many people on road traffic accidents as “the act of God” Accidents by circumstance are not God’s errors At this point, it is essential that the writer is neither an Imam nor a pastor over a church. Therefore, I am not looking at this erroneous belief from a religious perspective rather I am looking at it from a professional point of view. In all honesty, most accidents are caused by human errors. The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe reveals that most road accidents in Zimbabwe happen as a result of human errors. According to the statistics given (in Zimbabwe), 93.4% of all accidents recorded during 2014/2015 festive periods were due to human errors. Source: Although, a man can be a victim of an accident by circumstances, this is a situation when a man who has no fault is involved in an accident caused by another man’s fault. Yet, this does not mean that the accident is an act of God, rather it is an avoidable occurrence caused by another man’s errors that makes an innocent man a victim by circumstance. A Case Study For instance, in 2015, an articulated vehicle carrying an unlatched container suddenly slipped off the truck and fell on a commercial bus at Illishan, Ogun State, Nigeria, killing all the12 passengers on board. However, 11 of the victims were said to be students of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) and the last person was the driver of the said bus. In addition, the truck driver took to his heels and the truck has no registered number plate, making it so difficult to trace the truck owner and the driver. This particular accident was caused by a human error traceable to four set of people or agencies namely:
  • The truck owner
  • The truck driver
  • The traffic regulatory agencies e.g. The Police, The FRSC, The NSCDC, The VIO, and
  • The Government.
It was a high risk of negligence on the part of the truck owner and the truck driver to carry an unlatched container on public roads. It was also an error from the traffic regulatory agencies to allow an unlatched container to be carried on Nigerian roads without being checked or arresting the truck driver. The last but not the least is the responsibility of the government to make it a law forbidding any truck to carry an unlatched container on public roads. It should be realized that the failure to do and enforce this would amount to an error on the part of the government. However, the said students and the driver were the victims of an accident by circumstance. It was not the fault of the students to board a commercial bus and it was not the fault of the bus driver to use the public road or share the road with a haulage truck, yet they died in the accident they never bargained for by circumstance. It is painful and quite unfortunate that they were not the cause of the accident that claimed their lives. Their untimely deaths were determined by the errors of four categories of people mentioned above; otherwise, it would have been an avoidable accident. Another Case Study In 2013, on Christmas day, to be precise, a woman and her 4 children and 5 other people were killed when a container fell on a stationary commuter bus at Alaba Suru, in Lagos. It was revealed that the truck driver was trying to avoid killing a mad man who slept on the road when the container it carried fell from the truck. It is a pity that the woman, her 4 children and 5 other people were the victims of the accident by circumstance. The death that claimed their lives was not as a result of their own fault, it was the fault of 4 set of people mentioned above. The mad man that slept on the road only showcased a characteristic of a mad man because a normal human being can never sleep on the public road for any reason. So, the mad man might not share in the blame. Moreover, observation also reveals that some of the bus-stops on public roads are luxury apartments for lunatics to live. They make this important transport infrastructure their dwelling place without being checked, thereby making it so difficult for public use. However, the state or government environmental board should be blamed. It’s a menace or a threat to the public to see many mad men and women moving around the city and on the public roads. This is why the government environmental board or agency responsible for environmental sanitation should be blamed. It is expected of them to rise up to the task in reducing the menace constituted by lunatics on our public roads. However, the attempt made by the truck driver to avoid killing the mad man on the road was a good one but it was a big error of negligence for the driver to carry an unlatched container on the public road. Therefore, it was a human error that caused the death of 10 innocent people; otherwise it would have been an avoidable accident. Nonetheless, in transport profession, it is an erroneous assumption or belief to see the death of 11students, the driver , the 5 other people, the woman and her 4 children as the act of God rather it is the act of men known as “human error” which made innocent men victims by circumstance. In the recent time, observations from individuals and professional bodies have indicated that travelling by air is safer than travelling by road. In Nigeria today, hardly can one find a day without the occurrence of a road accident. On the other hand, it is almost a strange thing to hear of a plane crash in air transport throughout a particular year except for some occasional ones. Do you know that thousands of airplanes travel both locally and globally every day? The Federal Aviation Administration reveals that there are 30,000 flights a day in the US. Yet you will hardly hear the news of a plane crash as we have it in road transport on daily basis. My question to those that hold this erroneous belief is ‘Why doesn’t God choose to kill many people on daily basis through plane crashes as we have in road transport? According to Captain Dave Thomas “….commercial air travel is the safest mode in the world.” In all honesty, air transport is far safer than road transport. Why? It is because safety is not negotiable in air transport. This is the reason we don’t have frequent plane crashes on daily basis as we have it in road transport system. When there is a plane crash, the aviation industry tries to research the causes and makes efforts to prevent a future occurrence. Air safety cannot be overemphasized in the aviation industry. If road safety is given due consideration by all road users without being forced, the frequency of road carnages on daily basis will be a day dream and this erroneous belief that makes some motorists, most especially, commercial motorists and motorcyclists to throw caution into the air while making use of the road will no longer seem to have assigned function in a road accident. According to a traffic safety officer in Zimbabwe, Tatenda Chinoda, drivers’ errors are generally the major causes of road traffic accidents in Zimbabwe. Therefore, the high rate of traffic accidents in Nigeria and other parts of the world is not the act of God but the act of men even if an accident occurs due to a mechanical problem, it’s still a human error caused a by mechanical engineer.      


As more used vehicles are imported into Africa likewise vehicle ownership also increases; as a result of this, high rate of road traffic accident is undoubtedly very high. This is even worst among commercial motorcycle operators in some countries in Africa e.g. Nigeria; Tanzania etc For instance, The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) in South Africa, an agency responsible for road safety administration in South Africa, shows in its annual report for the year 2014 to 2015 that more than 4,500 people died on road accidents. More so, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) reports show that more than 1 in 4 traffic accident deaths in Africa occur on Nigeria roads. However, as a result of high rate of accident in Africa and the consequences thereof, hence, in May, 2014 WHO published the death rate per 100,000 and the rank of each country in the world. Here below are the death rate & the ranking: WORLD RANKING OF ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT IN AFRICA Death Rate per 100,000
1. Uganda 37.14 7
2. Burkina Faso 36.56 8
3. Nigeria 35.39 9
4. Angola 34.96 10
5. Guinea Bissau 34.37 11
6. Mauritania 33.75 13
7. Comoros 32.52 15
8. Mali 32.49 16
9. Sudan 31.13 18
10. Niger 30.59 20
11. Tanzania 29.12 21
12. Eritrea 27.94 22
13. Sierra Leone 27.40 25
14. Benin 27.30 26
15. Chad 27.04 27
16. Zambia 26.51 29
17. Lesotho 25.94 30
18. Liberia 25.48 31
19. Senegal 25.47 32
20. Kenya 25.11 35
21. South Africa 24.64 37
22. Ghana 24.60 38
23. Gambia 24.55 39
24. Cote D’ivoire 24.51 40
25. Rwanda 24.06 43
26. Madagascar 23.43 44
27. Namibia 22.82 47
28. DR Congo 22.53 48
29. Mozambique 22.23 51
30. Malawi 22.12 52
31. Botswana 22.04 53
32. Djibouti 21.90 54
33. Burundi 21.83 56
34. South Sudan 21.80 57
35. Somalia 21.65 58
36. Camerom 21.27 60
37. Gabon 21.23 61
38. Guinea 20.33 66
39. Ethiopia 20.16 68
40. Cape Verde 20.06 69
41. Swaziland 18.31 79
42. Togo 18.03 81
43. Congo 17.53 82
44. Central Africa 16.25 93
45. Mauritius 12.89 108
46. Equatorial Guinea 12.27 116
47. Zimbabwe 10.65 126
  It is important to note that WHO exclude cause of death data by broad accident for the following countries:- Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Cook Island, Dominica, Grenada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Nine, Palau, Saint Kilts, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome, Seychelles, Tonga, Tuvalu, & Vanuatu.  

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: 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!

10 factors that can affect you while driving on the road.

Driving becomes difficult and even the roads become unsafe for road users especially the pedestrian when the operator or driver of a motor vehicle is mentally and physically impaired. However, the following factors among others can affect you when driving:
  1. Use of non-prescription medication
  2. Emotional state of the driver
  3. Medical condition or sickness of the driver
  4. Use of alcohol before driving
  5. Use of prescription medicine may also affect you.
  6. Eating or drinking while driving.
  7. Use of illegal drugs
  8. Fatigue
  9. Reading or writing while driving
  10. Use of tobacco or smoking while driving
Since, everyone expects safe and courteous drivers to use the road, and then it will be better if drivers can avoid all these factors that can lead to unsafe driving.  

12 Important facts about Road Safety You need to know. By Owinje Peter.

Road safety can be simply referred to as those measures and methods putting in place in order to reduce the high risk of any person or any vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists for being killed or injured for using the road. Despite the fact, that human errors are the major cause of traffic problems, yet human being is still relied upon to improve the safety of road users. However, the essence of road safety is to prevent any serious injury and the likely death of any road users. Since, human being is relied on to make our roads safer hence; you need to know the following facts about road safety.
  1. In each year over 1.2 million people die in road accidents.
  2. In every year not less than 50 million people sustained injury or disabled by road accident.
  3. Do you know that not less than half of all road accident victims are vulnerable road users i.e. pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists?
  4. Road accident cost each country not less than 4% of its Gross National Product.
  5. Do you know that the use of seat belts alone can reduce the likely death in auto crash by 61%?
  6. The effective use of child restraints may reduce child death rate in road accident by 35%.
  7. Use of helmets can reduce fatal and serious head injuries by 45%.
  8. If the law of “if you drink don’t drive and if you drive don’t drink” is probably enforced, it can reduce the road accident that can be caused by alcohol by 20%.
  9. When you reduce an average speed of 1 km/h it means you have reduced the likely number of road accident by 2%.
  10. Do you know that simple engineering measures putting in place with minimum cost can save many lives?
  11. In every year close to 400,000 people under age 25 die on road accidents around the world- on average more than 1,000 people per day.
  12. Do you know it does not hurt to be road safety conscious?
However, most of these facts are credited to WHO.

Road Safety Culture in a Developing Country

A poor road safety culture in a developing country One of the problems encountered in a developing country is the lack of road safety culture among road users. Most road users lack the good understanding of road signs and traffic rules. Whenever they see these road signs they cannot interpret the meaning let alone imbibe the culture that is needed to make our road safer in a developing country. Another issue is that some motorists, who understand some of the traffic signs, also fail to obey it hence, whenever they use the road they consciously exhibit their poor road safety culture. For instance, I turned on the television set one day and I saw one of the television stations in Nigeria on the screen conducting a public interview on zebra crossing and the interviewers focused majorly on the motorists. It is interesting to note that most motorists interviewed did not know zebra crossing while the few of them that said they know zebra crossing also said they don’t stop for any pedestrian that stand on zebra crossing and no one enforce them to obey the rule or to observe the traffic sign. Since motorists fail to stop for pedestrian that stand on zebra crossing hence, the pedestrian end up in crossing the road at will on the same zebra crossing. This is a poor road safety culture in developing countries. Military and paramilitary aren’t blameless To worsen the whole issue, I have seen pedestrian crossing the road at will in the presence of a policeman, soldier and even in presence of road safety personnel in Nigeria. I personally thought that it is one of the civic responsibilities of any of these officers to stop the traffic for any pedestrian who intends to cross the road at their sight, but most of the time I saw this responsibility or assertion being proved otherwise by these officers. In fact, a time, they violate the traffic rules and nobody is able to challenge their impunity. My early days in Boy Scout and Boy Brigade I remember when I was still a member of a Boy Scout and Boy Brigade in Nigeria, we were taught then that whenever we are in uniform and we see a pedestrian who wants to cross the road without being invited we should help to stop the traffic for them to pass or cross the road safely rather than ignoring them and allow them to cross at will. Therefore, whenever we were in uniform we were always eager to stop vehicles for any pedestrian we saw who intended to cross the road at will and we were proud to do this as a responsibility to the public. I don’t know if paramilitaries and military also see this as a responsibility to the public whenever they are outside their barracks. It is a lack of road safety culture and responsibility for any uniform men to ignore a pedestrian who intends to cross the public road at will. Since most of these uniform men are under the government then it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that all these uniform men demonstrate a good road safety culture in the society.     A senior national road safety officer demonstrated poor road safety    culture                                                                                                                                                                                         in another country It is also interesting to see one of the senior rank officer in Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)(a federal government agency responsible for road safety administration in Nigeria) who was been interviewed in the local television program in Nigeria. I listened to him as he shared his experience when he traveled out of his country (Nigeria) to one of the European countries. According to him, he said he was going out from his apartment and he walked to the zebra crossing with the intention to cross to the other side of the road, he said, immediately he stepped on the zebra crossing just with one leg, he saw all the vehicles both from left and right stopped immediately for him to cross. According to him, he was shocked and afraid to see vehicles in such a busy road stopping at the same time therefore he thought within himself that something must had happened that was unknown to him that caused all the motorists to stop at once. So out of fear he ran back to see what had happened that held all the motorists into ransom, unknown to him that he was actually the one that held all the motorists into ransom by stepping on the zebra crossing, he was marveled and baffled when the motorists were asking him to cross the road since he had stepped into zebra crossing before he ran back. In fact, he said, no vehicle moved until he crossed the road. It was then he got to know that he was the one they actually stopped for. He is one of the top senior ranks in Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), a federal government agency responsible for road safety administration in Nigeria. By his status in the society he knew by theory what zebra crossing stands for but he lacked the practical sense of it as a road user. He knew it is uncommon in Nigeria to see motorists willingly stopping their vehicles for just a pedestrian who steps on the zebra crossing. Even among the paramilitaries in Nigeria it is a common behavior to see those ignoring pedestrians on zebra crossing. Culture here means a behavior or an attitude; therefore, it is a very wrong behavior or bad attitude for a motorist to deny a pedestrian of his or her right to use the road on zebra crossing. In a developed country it is uncommon behavior but in a developing country it is a common behavior that must be corrected.   Conclusion It is not a gainsaying or overstatement, to say that in a developing country like Nigeria we lack a good road safety culture that is required for all road users, to maintain safety on the road. If a senior road safety officer could act ignorantly in such manner, you can imagine how a pedestrian who is not working in any position as a road safety officer would act. The truth never dies and the simple truth is that we lack road safety culture in our society. It is high time we start to imbibe this road safety culture for the benefit of all of us.  

Road Safety: Individual Responsibility and the Role of Government Inevitable.

Road accident a major cause of death among little children Road safety is described as the methods or the ways designed in other to minimize or reduce the likely risk that a road user may encounter for using the roads. Road safety focuses on prevention of serious injuries and untimely death. It is important to note that road accident has claimed so many lives while many other victims sustained permanent injuries. For instance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that more than one million people are killed on road accident around the world each year. For example, in 2004 World Health Organization (WHO) published a report that not less than 1.2 million people were killed 50 million injured in traffic collisions on the road around the world each year and it was a major cause of death among little children of age nine to ten (9-10). In addition, in 2007, road accidents claimed 3,267 in three (3) states in Nigeria namely Osun, Ondo, and Oyo State. Source: The Punch Newspaper, Nigeria. A research also shows that one (1) out of five (5) deaths daily comes from road accident. Painfully enough, World Health Organization (WHO) also noted that the problem was most sever in developing countries. This is my major pain and concern, that in developing countries we lose huge number of human capital on our roads and simple prevention measure could have reduced this high number of deaths. Hence, the need for proper road safety measures cannot be over emphasized in road transportation. The irony on Nigeria roads The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) a national road safety agency responsible for road safety administration in Nigeria, revealed that bad road in Nigeria was not responsible to high mortality in Nigeria. This is because motorists are always cautious whenever, they are driving on a bad road, having realized that speed on a bad road is highly dangerous and that it can damage their cars or lead to a fatal accident hence, they move their vehicles cautiously and slowly as a result of this, high rate of accident and mortality are reduced on the bad road. However, on a good road it was a different game entirely, where motorists on expressway or high way see it as an opportunity to showcase speed, they are less cautious unlike the motorists on the bad road, since it only takes a split of a second for an accident to occur hence, the accident rate are higher on a good road in Nigeria. This is why I personally see road safety to be individual responsibility and it is a primary responsibility for all road users, at least to save one’s life and the lives of other road users. If accident rate could be higher on a good road due to over speeding and careless driving and lesser on a bad road due to cautious driving, then every road user especially the motorists must not throw caution into the air whenever they are using the road. This is the first law we all need to obey to make our roads safer. A clarion call to action Furthermore, since we know that road safety is to encourage safer behavior of all road users in other to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads every day. Hence, everyone or every road user is expected to rise up to the task to make our roads safer on their parts. Individual should know the road sign and the traffic rules and put them into practice, motorists must ensure that their vehicles are in good condition before they ply the road, with these, inappropriate conduct or misbehavior of many road users will reduce. Since it is not hurt to be road safety conscious hence, we should see it as a civic duty to make our roads safer in developing countries. My early days in primary school Having talked about road safety as a primary responsibility of an individual, it is important to note that the major responsibility relies on government. Government should ensure that simple road safety education should be part of the school curriculum from primary to secondary school level. This is because road crashes are the leading cause of death among children, (BBC). In addition, according to BBC, road accidents killed 260,000 children in a year and about 10 million injured. Even in higher institution it should be part of general studies (GNS), since our students are also part of the road users hence, the need for road safety education must be considered in all our schools. For example, I remember that I got to know what the each traffic light stands for when I was still in primary school. Our social studies teacher taught us and even composed a song for it and we were made to rehearse the song several times, by this it stuck in our long time memory so, when I got to secondary school and even till now whenever I see a traffic light I know within me that I had the understanding from my primary school days. Therefore, to build a good road safety culture we should start to teach our children simple road safety education in their schools. Government is expected to take a leading role in this regard. Public enlightenment, strict enforcement and provision of necessary infrastructure Are government responsibilities More also, public enlightenment on road safety by the government in developing countries through its agencies must be encouraged e.g. in Nigeria Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO), National Orientation Agency (NOA) among others are government agencies. All media stations must not be left out in this task. In Nigeria speed limits seems to be a mere suggestion when you see some motorists showcase their over speeding on the road and if they are caught little money is enough to set them free.  Therefore, strict enforcement to ensure compliance to road safety rules and regulations must not be undermined in developing nations, good road development and proper maintenance must not be left out as well, if our roads must be safer. I also noticed that some bridges and roads where necessary in Nigeria lack guard rail these and many others are the responsibilities of the government in developing nations. Conclusion Nevertheless, the importance of road transportation cannot be over emphasized in the growth of any given nation and more importantly highest number of people in any nation depend on road transport for their movement daily hence, the need to make our road safer for all road users is inevitable.  

Page 2 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén