Pedestrianization: A desirable safety facility for pedestrians: by Owinje Peter

Recently in the month of August, 2015, a student of one of the higher institutions in Ibadan city, Oyo state, Nigeria, was knocked down by a vehicle on his way to campus. I learned that this was not the first incident in the area. One of the students of the school told me that the victim was the only son and the only child of the family. What a pity!

However, when I visited the area of the incident, I discovered that the campus is located beside an expressway (a busy road) that links two states together in the country and I also, discovered that the road lacks the necessary desirable safety facilities for pedestrians. For more understanding, the following are the conditions of the said road:

  1. No any pedestrian footpaths for the students,
  2. No traffic island or median divider between opposite direction traffic in    order to reduce the head collision between two vehicles in the area,
  3. No any traffic sign or signal for motorists or road users, and
  4. No single bond in the front of the campus to limit or reduce the speed of those drivers who think speed limit is just a mere suggestion.
  5. No zebra-crossing for the students, therefore, most students end up crossing the road at will.

However, it is important to note that, the risk of pedestrians is high when they share the same road with vehicles traveling at a fast speeds. This explains why the student was knocked down by a vehicle. Since the road lacks necessary safety facilities for pedestrians, I wonder if such ugly incident will not repeat itself again.

According to National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), estimated that total pedestrian death in U.S was 4, 432 in 2011. In the same year it was estimated that 69, 000 pedestrians were injured while 11,000 of those injured were age 14 and younger (NHTSA).

According to the WHO reports in 2010, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people.

A report also shows that more than 57% pedestrians in 4 cities were killed in South Africa. Another report also shows that roads in low and middle income countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America revealed that 84% of the roads surveyed had no pedestrian footpaths though they carried motor vehicle traffic moving at 40km/h or more.

 

Pedestrian and Pedestrianization defined

Pedestrian is a person who walks around on the road rather than moving around in a vehicle. One of the medical tips is that walking around is good for human health, therefore, it is important to protect the pedestrian from undesirable vehicle. The question is how can we protect pedestrians from the moving vehicle? Pedestrianization is the answer; it is a restriction of vehicle access to an area designed for walking.

Pedestrian infrastructure is important because it increases the pedestrian’s safety and mobility while reducing the access of undesirable vehicles. Since, road traffic fatalities and injuries consume a lot of financial resources if it happens hence; the importance of pedestrian facility cannot be over emphasized in our society.

Finally, a report shows that those that are killed on road across the globe, about half of the fatalities constitute vulnerable road users (WHO, 2009), and pedestrians are part of Vulnerable Road Users (VRU). Therefore, a road design that lacks pedestrian facility creates a great risk for pedestrians. Since, everyone is a pedestrian hence; a desirable safety facility for all of us is of paramount importance.

   

Top 10 Railway Network in the World

The following are the 10 countries with the longest railway network in the world:
  1. USA has not less than 250,000 km network.
  2. China has over 100,000 rail networks.
  3. Russian has over 85,000 rail networks.
  4. India is 1st in Asia countries and 4th in the world with 65,000 km operating route. Source: economicdiscussion.net
  5. Canada is on the fifth position with 48,000km rail network.
  6. Germany has 41,000 km rail network.
  7. Australia has 40,000 km rail network.
  8. Argentina has 36,000 km rail network.
  9. France has 29,000 km rail network. It is 2nd in Europe and 9th in the world.
  10. Brazil has 28,000km rail network.
Source: Railway technology.com

Warning: An epileptic patient riding a commercial motorcycle: A bid to untimely death. By Owinje Peter

Epilepsy defined. According to MerriamWebster Dictionary defines epilepsy as: “any of various disorders marked by abnormal electrical discharge in the brain and typically manifested by sudden brief episodes of altered or diminished movements or convulsion.” Firstly, I noticed in above definition that the problem has to do with the brain of a man; this explains why the disease is a serious problem, because the brain controls virtually every part in a man. Secondly, it happens suddenly to the victim anytime or anywhere. This also, explains why people suffering from such disease should not be allowed to ride a motorbike or drive a car or vehicle anywhere. Indeed, it’s unwanted occurrence that can embarrass its victim publicly. These were exactly what happened to a commercial motorcycle operator I saw on, 11th of August, 2015. An epileptic patient riding a commercial motorbike On the said day I was in a commercial bus going home when we (3 passengers and the driver) noticed a commercial motorcycle rider who suddenly became very unconscious when the motorbike was already on a speed on highway, we all wonder what had happened to the man we had earlier seen riding his motorbike normally in front of the bus we occupied. However, the man became very more unconscious at a speed on the highway; we saw his body shaking rapidly and his hands shaking aimlessly. As we were wondering of what had actually happened to the man in a twinkle of an eye, however, we over heard the voice of the only passenger he carried (a lady) shouting at him “why are you riding like this? Why are you riding like this……?” The man could not control himself let alone the motorbike he was riding, eventually; he hit his motorcycle on our bus. It was a serious accident as both of them (the operator and the passenger) fell on the tied road, painfully enough both of them did not use crash element. However, they are so lucky or fortunate that no vehicle is following our bus bumper-to-bumper; otherwise it would have been a fatal accident. The operator fainted completely and he was carried away by his colleagues (commercial motorcycle riders) who knew him. We latter got to know from his colleagues that the man in question was an epileptic patient who thought he had no other means to survive than to become a commercial motorcycle. The question is who to blame? Is it the innocent passenger that boarded the motorbike or the rider who is faced with problems of unemployment and poverty, but suffering from epilepsy disease or the government who suppose to regulate commercial motorcycle operations? The answer is yours. In view of this incident and for safety purposes it will not be too much to suggest that proper safety regulations for both drivers and motorbike riders should not be undermined, also, they should undergo a test for seizures and epilepsy known as electroencephalograph (EEG) test, before license can be issued to them or allowed to ply the public roads with their vehicles or motorbikes. It is important to note that many of these riders in the country do not have license while, most of them do not have registration identification numbers, and lack of proper policy needed to guide the commercial motorcycle operations and quality service provision among others are issues that need government courteous attention. In addition, poverty, poor standard of living, rate of unemployment and under employment that plunge many youths into indiscriminate commercial motorcycle operators must also be addressed by the government with immediate alacrity.      

Airbag can save you from untimely death

You don’t need to die untimely because you ride your car. Virtually everyday people lost their lives in a motor accident around the world. Every fatal accident on the road results to a death of a road user. Hence airbag is able to save your life in such a time. Air bags in your car are made to reduce the likely harm that may happen to you during collision or accident. It is a safety feature that is designed to protect the occupants or passengers in an accident or collision. When accident occurs air bags are deployed immediately to prevent occupants from being injured, for instance, the air bag will protect you from hitting your head on the steering or dashboard which may hurt you during collision. Hence, with the help of air bag you may hit your head on the air pillow which may not hurt you during                               collision. A report has shown that air bags have reduced the number of deaths and serious injuries from roads accidents. For instance,” according to the Insurance, Institute for Highway Safety, the number of deaths when both seatbelts and air bag were used was 24% less than when only seat belts were used. Hence, the National Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) now require cars made after 1998 to contain both driver side and passenger air bags.” However, for the airbags to be more effective it is necessary to use seat belt. During collision, the seat belt will hold you firm to your seat while the airbag absorb the force of the impact. Apart from preventing serious injury, they have also saved many lives.     Type of air bag There are two types of air bags they are, the frontal airbags and the side-impact airbags. The frontal airbags are meant to prevent the driver and passenger in front from hitting the interior parts of the vehicle while, the side-impact airbags keep the head or the chest from impact. An Air Bag Component The air bag system is made up of two main components, which are the impact sensor and the air bag module unit. The impact sensor simply senses impacts. If an accident occurs, the impact sensor sends a signal (i.e. an electrical current) to the air bag module unit causing it to deploy in a short space of time. The sensors are located in the front of the car. The air bag module unit is located in the steering column on the side of the driver and also, in the dashboard on the side of the passenger. This unit is made up of an air inflator assembly, a nylon bag and a breakaway cover. However, the whole sequence between the initial detection of a crash by the sensor and when the air bag is fully deployed happens in a short space of time. This is very important in other to protect the occupants from being injured. Source: web.bryant.edu

10 Top Reasons why you need to wear your seat belt

The NHTSA Regional Administrator, Thomas M. Louizou, said: “More than half the drivers and passengers being killed in crashes are not wearing seat belts. That is a major problem.” Seat belt is important to the point that it can save your life in an auto crash. This is one of the major reasons among others why you need to wear your seat belt while driving. However, here are the reasons why you need to wear your seat belt.
  1. Some countries make it a law for every motorist.
  2. It will help to prevent your face from hitting the windshield, if your car is stopped suddenly.
  3. When accident occurs and the car is somersaulted, a seat belt will hold you firm on your seat and keep you from being thrown from the vehicle.
  4. It keeps you from hitting against some parts of the vehicle while driving e.g. the door, the car steering wheel and the seat in front of you.
  5. The seat belts keep all the occupants e.g. the driver and passengers from hitting into each other, which may cause a serious injury in some accidents.
  6. In case of accident, airbags may be useless or ineffective if you fail to wear your seat belt; you may still end up being thrown from the car or hit against its parts e.g. the door, the windshield etc, and passengers. In addition, if you are not wearing your belt your body may not be in the best position that benefits from the protection of an airbag.
  7. The use of a seat belt may save your life; this is because death may come as a result from hitting the windshield, being thrown from the vehicle and banging against vehicle parts and passengers.
  8. Use of seat still remains the number one vehicle safety device.
  9. The use of seat belt helps to protect a pregnant woman and her unborn child in a car. However, the pregnant women are advised to wear the lap belt low, in such a way that it pulls downward on the pelvic bones. In other words, they should not wear it against their abdomen.
  10. It does not hurt to use a seat belt.
  SOURCE: eHow