Of Gridlock And The Incessant Abuse Of Traffic Lights In Sokoto, By Usama Dandare

Over the years, traffic signals were controlled by electrical or mechanical devices, but with the advent of the microprocessor, they are now programmed and controlled by computer systems. These signal controls are designed around a communication system that ties individual intersection signals together through a central computer system or a series of computers that can coordinate the timing sequence of multiple intersections. The main objective of these traffic signals is to provide convenient signal coordination to motorists, in order to help reduce accident and save lives. However, the rate at which these traffic lights are being abuse in Sokoto State – by both road users and the government itself – must leave any spectator wondering whether the state government is only wasting tax-payer’s hard earned money to beautify the city center or is bereft of ideas on how best to utilize these pretty gadgets.

In this part of the world lives a widely accepted belief that traffic lights presents much often the best solution to road accidents more than any other option, as such, quite a number of them have been installed allover in the capital city of Sokoto, even in places where no such legitimate operational warrant exists. It is on record that the attitudes and misunderstandings that sometimes lead to unjustified installations of these traffic lights in the state has done more harm than the initial purpose on which they were installed, which is why it is absolutely imperative to thoroughly study the location, road capacity and conditions before determining where to install traffic lights and where not to. Traffic signals should be used only where lesser forms of control have proven ineffective because they always create more intersection delay and minor movements may experience excessive unexpected delays, particularly if the signals are improperly timed. As a result, many drivers opted for less desirable alternate routes or to residential streets or move against the signals to avoid added delay.

So far, Sokoto state government has spent over N1billion to install traffic and street lights in the last ten months, but unfortunately, the purpose for which these traffic signals were meant to serve is seemingly becoming unrealistic and misplaced, instead, they only added salt to our injuries and made things even more worst than they were. Albeit the uncompliance attitudes of motorists contributed a lot to the insuccess of these signals but the government should to a large extent be blamed.

That motorists in Sokoto have in their genetic composition a chromosomal deficiency of traffic obedience is perhaps a clear indication that the authorities themselves are also not getting the right approach and ideas favourable for citizens compliance: the ongoing installation of traffic lights at the wrong locations in Sokoto State while ignoring places in dire need of traffic signals is a clear example of how best a government can discourage citizenry from obeying safety rules and regulations.

This renewed efforts by the state government only solved problems that did not exist, but failed to deal with the problems which need tackling, as these traffic lights, though they do help a little, were hardly necessary. Traffic signals and roundabouts serves the same purpose and need not to be operating together, the former should only exists where the latter failed, and vice versa. It makes no sense to have street lights and roundabouts operating at the same location akin to what we are witnessing in Sokoto State today. There are several dangerous intersections/junctions in the state where there has been many fatalities and even lost of lives, but sadly, the state government is yet to see any reason for having traffic signals at these junctions where they are needed the most, rather, they opted to install them in roundabouts where they serve little or no use at all. To cut it short, installing these devices in roundabouts alone without giving due emphasis to the many deadly junctions in the state didn’t only made no meaning but went further to substantiate the fact that the state government lacks the required ideas on how best a traffic light can be utilized.

The systemic problem which these traffic lights in roundabouts has not addressed (but which the state government hasn’t took into consideration) is that there are so many junctions, crossings and turnings across the state that have resulted to many lost of lives and injuries. The awkward T-junction along Gusau road, just adjacent to the main gate of FGC Sokoto is perhaps one of the most dangerous junction across the state and even across neighboring states of Kebbi and Zamfara. It is astonishing that the government saw NNPC roundabout worthy of traffic signal over this dangerous junction, it is so sad that the government did not consider this junction which has claimed the lives of many poor road users and still counting. It is a junctions with an obvious and urgent need for traffic signals, likewise several other junctions across the state, from Old Airport junction to Runjin Sambo, from Ibrahim Dasuki road to Arkilla Fire Service junction just to mention a few. If there’s any need for traffic lights in Sokoto, then these junctions ought to have been given more priority before others. Therefore, a modern sensible traffic control that will reduce accident and provide safe crossings for pedestrians as well as road users is highly recommended.

With the increasing rate of accidents recorded daily in the state, one needs no magic to believe that the state government has made the wrong choices in applying its traffic solutions and has failed to utilise the gadgets effectively. If the purposes of installing these signals are to curb accident and ensure free movements of vehicles, then sorry to say but our N1billion has just been wasted on a project that made no positive impact. The whole traffic signals were installed at the wrong places and seems no traffic study was conducted in the first place. Ideally, there are a number of factors that needed to be properly examined before traffic signals are installed, which were clearly not considered in this case:

First of all, a roundabout is a type of a circular intersection or junction in which road traffic flows almost continuously in one direction around a focal point, they were designed so to prevent any likelihood of collisions by reducing traffic speeds and minimizing T-bone and head-on collisions, especially on points where three or four junctions met. Roundabout forced traffic to move slowly in order to allow visual engagement with pedestrians, minimize driver confusion associated with perpendicular junctions and reduced queuing associated with traffic lights. As such, traffic lights need not to be installed where roundabouts exists.

Secondly, Traffic signals are important means of traffic control. When use properly or installed at the right place, they can help to improve safety, manage traffic flow, and make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street. However, the location that fits best for traffic signals should be taking into account first before any move, if the street is relatively narrow and motor vehicle traffic on the cross-street is moderate to low, then traffic lights can result in more pedestrian delay while waiting for the walk signal. In this scenario, impatient and hazy pedestrians would cross against the lights and motorists whose turn is to move may run them, hence resulting in a more severe damages and even lost of lives. Therefore, traffic lights should not be install on narrow and less busy roads.

Thirdly, another very important consideration is traffic signal spacing. When signalized locations are too close together, they could create more congestion and gridlock conditions, making it imperative that traffic lights be generally spaced further apart. However, due to the high cost of traffic signals and possible negative safety implications, it may be best to try other measures in lieu of traffic lights in places where signal spacing proved difficult, such as reducing the number of lanes, improved lighting, improved warning signs and pavement markings.

To this end, if really Sokoto State government is sincere in this latest drive to minimize accident and improve safety, they should carefully study these traffic signals and make proper amendments where necessary, all signals in roundabouts should be uninstall and reinstall in places where they are needed the most – junctions and intersections. Virtually all traffic lights in Sokoto have no pedestrian signal which perhaps can be attributed to the fact that little attention was paid to pedestrian activity at the time most of the signals were installed. Therefore, they should all have pedestrian crossing signals except for some narrow street crossings, but where pedestrian activities are large, a pedestrian bridge will solve it all. Though I have seen some solar powered traffic signals in about two roundabouts, there’s still the need for the state government to have an alternative energy source to power these devices in order to save cost, instead of adopting the expensive method of using power generating sets. In a nutshell, the state government should come up with a ‘traffic act’ that criminalise by-passing traffic signals and proscribe a severe retribution for noncompliance, which may not only serve as a deterrent to deter others but will go a long way in forcing all road users to comply with the rules and obey traffic control. A stitch in time saves nine.

 

Usama A. Dandare, a social commentator write from Sokoto. Reach him via osadaby@yahoo.com,  www.facebook.com/usama.dandareor twitter @osadaby

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Gov Okowa’s Principal Secretary Asks Mother Who Broke Traffic Law To Pay Penalty

By Fejiro Oliver

The Delta State Traffic Management Authority (DESTMA) has hit its first big traffic offender in the State, this medium can report authoritatively.

On the last day of August, we gathered that Mrs Chinedu Achi who is the mother of Hilary Ibegbulem, the Principal Secretary to Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa and her driver broke two of the DESTMA law of driving without a driver’s license which attracts a fine of N5000 and driving in a direction prohibited by the road traffic law which leads to a penalty of N25,000.

Mrs Achi committed the offence by Akpu Junction, Okpanam road while driving a black Toyota matrix by 1:00pm. As soon as the officers caught up with her, she quickly placed a call to her son, who is mostly believed to be the most powerful political appointee in the State to save her from the embarrassment.

Our source revealed that Hilary jumped into his unmarked vehicle and left Government House to the scene with security agents. On getting to the scene, it was already filled up with people who waited to see how he will descend on the traffic officials for stopping his mother’s vehicle.

On getting down from the vehicle, he was told by the DESTMA men what the mother did. Surprisingly, he chastised the mother for breaking the law and calling him to intervene. He turned to the officials, apologized to them and he was told the mother have to pay the sum of N30,000 as the fines for the offences she committed.

Hilary according to our source went to the nearby Zenith Bank, ICT Branch and paid the money. He brought back the receipt with deposit slip number 0089864 for proof and the mother was booked as a traffic offender.

He left the scene immediately back to government house to the shock of bystanders.

IMG_20160901_210521

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

2500 Jobs Created As Elrufai Commissions State Traffic Agency [Photos]

No less than 2,500 jobs was created by the Kaduna State government on Tuesday with the commissioning of the Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency, KASTELEA.

The commissioning of the agency follows the disbandment of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services in the state.

Governor Nasir El Rufai commissioned the agency with himself adorned in the uniform designed for the outfit.

Check out more photos…

 

 

 

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

The Economists Goof On Ambodes’ Traffic Policy By Seun Bisuga

The Economist may have done well to speak the minds of millions of Lagosians but it goofed on the transport control policy of the present Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
I remember pretty vividly what the reaction of Lagosians was to Ambode’s policy on LASTMA not having the powers to impound vehicles anymore. They lauded it in commercial buses, praised him in bars and of course rushed onto social media to commend him.
They used the opportunity to lash out at LASTMA and former governor of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola for using LASTMA as a money generating agency.
Owing to this new position commercial and private drivers alike, threw caution to the wind. The ever-reckless commercial drivers especially now believed they were above the law and therefore could do whatsoever they wanted. Other motorists knowing that LASTMA could only fine them but without real power to stop them from reaching their destination all culminated in making most busy roads in Lagos become hellish.
To curb the craziness, Ambode appointed a new CEO for LASTMA, a former Assistant Inspector General of Police to drive home his traffic control policy.
But why did Ambode reverse LASTMA’s powers? He stopped LASTMA from impounding cars because it was not why they were set up and of course not their most important duty, their job was to ensure free flow of traffic but they chose impounding cars over traffic control.
In other civilized climes, including where The Economists HQ is domiciled, they don’t impound vehicles for traffic offences, its just does not happen.
LASTMA obviously was not happy with Ambode’s decision to cut their powers and reduce their chances of making money on the side therefore went lax in carrying out their duty so that Ambode can take the blame.
A case similar to Jose Mourinho’s torrid time at Chelsea presently. The players and back room staff can make the dressing room tense and they can frustrate the manager. They will always make you look bad once the results are not coming.
Ambode’s intention was good but it was a little, too early. With no CCTVs, no proper monitoring units and no data base to ensure that vehicles fined pay what’s due, he was bringing Apple iPhone 6 to medieval times.
Come to think of it, it is the unruly, undisciplined, reckless and lawless behavior of motorists that actually causes the traffic gridlock. If people can respect the traffic lights, follow orders of traffic controllers and manage to respect other traffic laws then Lagos roads will be less hellish.
It should be agreed that the Lagos road network needs to be fixed but more intelligent driving can reduce the traffic and also help LASTMA to do its job better.
Seun Bisuga, journalist, writer and social media influencer
@bisuclef
[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

LASTMA and Ambode’s Demand for Civility in Traffic Management By Gbenga Olorunpomi

Driving on the streets of Lagos has always been a hassle. For a city that is over ten times overpopulated and suffered decades of no investment in road infrastructure pre-1999, vehicular traffic congestion is expected to be an unfortunate part of its culture. New York, Cairo, London are just some of the few mega cities around the world that suffer from the same challenge.
However, the traffic congestion on most Lagos roads has become unbearable for many road users lately. The social media postings of many Lagosians recently has been laced with their frustrations about the situation. They complain that the trips that used to take 30 minutes now last double or triple the time. Every morning, Facebook and Twitter is filled with pictures of unhappy drivers, snailing their way to their businesses and offices. There is a lot of cyber anger out there, but unfortunately it is all aimed at the wrong guy.
When former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu created the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) by signing it into law in the year 2000, many residents thought it was a timely idea. Finally, an agency of the state government had been empowered to reduce deaths, injuries and economic losses from road traffic accidents, conflicts, congestion and delays on the public roads in the state by employing modern traffic management techniques. The agency also created jobs for many thousands.

Soon, most Lagosians began to see the wisdom in creating the agency. In fact, some states now have their versions of LASTMA. The officers of the agency became the most feared on Lagos roads. The fear of LASTMA became the beginning of wisdom. Every driver’s worst fear was to see a man or woman in cream-coloured shirt and maroon trousers knock on their windows or sternly ask them to park their cars on the side of the road. When that happened, you either begin talking very fast or start calling your government contact. Or, as a final resort, prepare to pay a heavy fine. No one wanted that, so most former offenders learnt to keep traffic rules. Defaulters were punished and knew not to commit the offence again. Life was getting good.

However, the story changed when certain corrupt LASTMA officers began to implement another set of rules they had written for themselves. They found a loophole in the system and exploited it mercilessly. Instead of preventing traffic gridlocks, they began hunting offenders and taking bribes. Some would create impossible situations on the roads and await unsuspecting victims. Some even tampered with traffic lights simply to ensnare innocent drivers. Cars properly parked were sometimes towed away and the owners left in distress. LASTMA officers became almost lawless; Lagos’ Enfant Terrible.

One of the first things the new administration under Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was to go did was to seek to re-brand LASTMA and re-jig its operations. Having attended countless town hall meetings and read reports from focus group discussions during the election campaigns, Governor Ambode knew the LASTMA he was inheriting needed to change to fit the vision he has for the state.

So, he ordered that all seized vehicles in the possession of LASTMA be released. The Transport Ministry also announced some new guidelines for the officers of the agency, one of which meant adopting a system where traffic offenders are booked instead of confiscating their vehicles. Oluseyi Whenu, the permanent secretary of the ministry of Transport, said the new policy is aimed at ensuring the free flow of traffic in the metropolis.

Mr. Whenu said the government was implementing a better traffic management and documentation procedure where traffic offenders are booked and given a grace period for payment and defaulters apprehended at home through the information on the motor vehicle database.
“Since LASTMA officials are a reflection of the state government, they should ensure that their activities add value to the government’s covenant with Lagos residents to make life easier for them,” he said.
Since this announcement, there has been a marked drop in the efficacy of the field officers in LASTMA. They have almost totally abandoned their duty posts. There used to be at least two sets of LASTMA officers on the Eko Bridge every morning. These days, you would be lucky to find one at his duty post between the Mainland and Ikoyi. Drivers used to avoid the BRT lanes like plagues. These days, private car owners and Danfo bus drivers are so bold that they would use the BRT lane right in front of the Government House at Marina. No one stops them because LASTMA officers are sulking. The big babies!
That is why the city is experiencing such traffic gridlock. LASTMA has downed tools and Lagosians are suffering for it. Robberies in traffic are back. So are the heartaches that come with accidents and injuries.
It is heartening that members of the public now know whom to blame for this. The Lagos State House of Assembly has summoned the General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Bashir Braimah, to explain the persistent gridlock. Mr. Jude Idimogu, representing the Oshodi-Isolo II, said the gridlock was as a result of the deliberate action of LASTMA officers in reaction to the demand by Governor Ambode that they behave better at their jobs.
“Many of the officers will be at the traffic prone areas, standing akimbo and be watching the situation unperturbed,” Idimogu said.
Mr. Tunde Braimoh, another representative for Kosofe II went further to ask the Lagos Government to disengage the officers for displaying such behaviour.
“Now that the governor came up with a modern way of enforcement, what the officers do now contradicts their ‘modus operandi’. If there is need to drop all of them and recruit others, we have to do so. They cannot disregard the law of the House and the state,” Braimoh said.
Mr. Segun Olulade, representing Epe II said, “(The) transport situation has degenerated in the state because of lawlessness of drivers and LASTMA. I have seen some sort of collaboration in sabotaging the government. Some so called LASTMA disobey traffic laws.”
Any society that allows a section of itself to operate above the rule of law toys with danger. Lagosians must support the stance of their beloved governor that LASTMA operates with the bounds of civility while carrying out their legitimate duty. They must stand with Governor Ambode in his quest to modernise the process of traffic management in Lagos.
LASTMA should not hold us to ransom. They are not bigger than the people. Governor Ambode, please deal with them! Within the bounds of the law, of course.
[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Akpabio Hospitalised In Car Crash After Breakng Traffic Light In Abuja

The convoy of Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, the former Governor of the oil-rich Akwa Ibom State and minority leader of the Nigerian Senate was involved in a multiple car crash in Abuja Monday morning.

News report said the politician and several others sustained injuries.

Akpabio is being treated at the National Trauma Centre of the National Hospital, in the Nigerian capital.

PremiumTimes, quoting a witness, who conveyed Akpabio to the hospital, the accident occurred when the former governor’s convoy broke through a red light along the Airport Road.

Premium Times reported that the accident occurred near the Bolingo Junction close to the Ship House, Abuja.

A witness said Mr. Akpabio was moving in a convoy of vehicles towards the City Gate when his vehicle ran into another car.

“My wife and I were coming from the NNPC Mega Station and we stopped at the traffic light by Bolingo Hotel Junction. When the green light showed and we made to move, there was this siren blaring Mercedes Benz jeep that came from the town and almost crashed onto my car. I don’t know how we dodged but another that was behind the jeep hit the car behind me and tumbled on its side.

“I and my wife rushed out of our vehicle and helped the driver bring out his boss. When we brought him out, we found that it was former governor Godswill Akpabio.

“At the time we brought him out, the siren was still blaring. We put him in the other vehicle and he was rushed to the National Hospital.”

The witness said Mr. Akpabio was badly shaken and was in a traumatic condition when he was brought out of the crashed vehicle.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

I Will fight For a Permanent Solution To Apapa’s Traffic Gridlock- Hon. Ayodeji Joseph

Hon. Ayodeji Joseph, the immediate past Chairman of Apapa Local Government and the current Member of the House of Representatives representing the Apapa Federal Constituency moved a motion yesterday on the floor of the House on the urgent need to devise a means to eliminate traffic gridlock on the road leading to Apapa port.

He fielded questions from newsmen explaining the motive behind his motion and also gave an insight into his legislative agenda

Q : The motion you raised on the floor of the House, can you give us the rationale behind it?

A : I think the motion is what the people of Apapa have been waiting for. If you ask anybody about Apapa, what first comes to mind is traffic as if we breed traffic there (laughs) . So the perennial traffic gridlock that has taken a toll on the socio-economic well-being of the Apapa people and the need to permanently resolve it was the reason for the motion.

  1. Why has it been difficult to tackle the gridlock despite interventions by the State Government
  2. I don’t think it is what the State Government can tackle alone. When I was Local Government Chairman, I and the then Commissioner of Transport went to the port to intervene but the Commissioner was disrespected and told in clear terms it was a Federal responsibility. The State government has employed different strategies to ameliorate the situation but a permanent solution won’t come without Federal Government assistance.

I think a permanent solution should be to devise a means of moving goods from Apapa instead of relying on all this containers and fuel tankers

All over the world, goods are moved by rail even petroleum products are moved by rail or pipes so why do we want to continue to use the old system of doing things and the Federal Govt will also be losing money because of the situation there.  If you have good roads, better managed system, the turn around time for moving products will be shorter, more products will be moved and more money for the Government

But if we continue like this, my fear is that God forbid, the bridge might even collapse because you see this tanker drivers parking on it and you can imagine how much the Federal Govt will be losing if that should happen. Customs make close to N700b every year, NIMASA about $400m, NPA, not less than a billion naira annually.

All these figures you can always get online so it’s not just me cooking up figures so you can imagine how the total break-down of this area is going to affect the Federal govt. We shouldn’t say Apapa is in Lagos and we should just neglect it. I believe now that there is new Federal govt that Lagos State is aligned with, things will change.

 

  1. After the House resolution,what should the people of Apapa be expecting?
  2. Action has started with the resolution, it won’t just go to the Works Committee and i’ll say they are doing something about it, I must follow through, I must know what they are doing about it. There are also other things I believe the people of Apapa ought to be benefiting from the Federal Govt in the area of jobs. Our people ought to be employed to work with shipping companies bringing goods and others within the proximity of the ports.

I will be working on a bill whereby the people of a particular area get a particular percentage of employment quota, I believe this is very important here in Apapa because we are being exploited and nothing is getting back to the people. So that’s part of what i’ll be here fighting for.

Then all these containers going into the ports and falling off easily, I think we also need to tackle it. We have people driving articulated vehicles without going through proper training. I want to believe there should be special training schools for drivers of articulated vehicles and trucks.

A license to drive a car should not mean you can just jump into a truck .So many lives are being lost daily due to negligence and Alcohol consumption by drivers. FRSC should do something in this regard which should include a random alcoholic test to curb this menace.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Gov. Ambode Set to Launch People Friendly Traffic Regime

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode is set to drastically change the face of Lagos traffic by introducing a world class traffic information and management system. The globally tested traffic system which has worked for many cities similar to Lagos is set to have caught the eye of Governor Ambode who wants to see Lagosians spend less hours in traffic and more in their offices and at work.

Our investigations reveal that in the next few weeks, the governor will work with some experts to design a system that fits the Lagos traffic pattern.

Today, Lagos is home to some of the worst traffic congestion in the world. Traffic congestion is a daily challenge with highly undesirable socioeconomic and environmental effects, increasing stress and pollution levels and reducing overall productivity. A sustainable solution is required to urgently decongest black spots such as Third Mainland Bridge, Abule Egba and Dopemu.

The state will introduce a world class traffic information and management system. A smart network comprising of hundreds of cameras, road sensors and electronic displays have been specially designed to collect and deliver real time information to city commuters that will help regulate traffic. Highly visible displays and a mobile phone application will flag highly congested hotspots, suggest alternative routes and estimate arrival times – all in real time.

Information is power. By empowering Lagosians with more traffic information ahead of time, the state government are confident of reducing the time spent in traffic, drastically improving each commuter’s quality of life and improving the city’s productivity as a whole. In big cities of the world, traffic information systems have helped improve traffic flow to a large percentage.

Governor Ambode since he took over has spent more time trying to solve the Apapa traffic conundrum and other traffic related problems in Lagos.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Police Assure Of A Crime-Free Transition Programme, Orders Diversion Of Traffic And Tight Security Around Eagle Square

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon E. Arase, NPM, fdc, today re-echoed his administration’s determination to make Nigeria a safe heaven, where all well-meaning residents can express their full potentials for the nation’s advancement.

IGP made this assertion during a meeting with the top brass of the Nigeria Police.

He used the occasion to announce successes recorded in the operations recently launched to wipe out cultism and kidnapping in Edo, Ekiti and Ondo States and vowed to technically amputate criminally minded persons wherever and whenever they operate within the country.

He announced the arrest of kidnapping kingpins in Edo and Ekiti States with a resolve to charge the suspects to court as soon as the courts resume.

The IGP also used the occasion to announce a massive deployment of Police resources to ensure a successful transition programme come 29th May, 2015.

Meanwhile, the IGP has ordered the diversion of traffic on all roads around Eagle Square on
Friday, 29th May, 2015.

He has also ordered tight security at Eagle Square, Hotels, key and vulnerable places within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as the mounting of Tactical Operation Points on all roads leading into and out of FCT.

The Nigeria Police Force apologizes for the inconveniences these arrangements may cause motorists and members of the public.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Youth As Vanguard Of Road Traffic Safety In Nigeria By Olagbemi Olamide Mobolaji

“A dad was driving his children to school and was stopped by the officers on the road. A question was raised about the age of the child sitting in the passenger’s seat beside the driver and he said he’s age 14 and that’s why he can seat in the front but his younger brother who is 9 is at the back seat with the seat belt”. The answer of the young man portray he has been taught at home or in school and this is where development starts from. It is important that children receive road safety education as part of the school curriculum which will enable even development.

About 1000 youths die daily as a result of road crashes. This is because of their ignorance of various road use rules and regulations and it would have been of great importance if they had known and taken good care of their vehicles.70% of commercial drivers in Nigeria for instance are youths and might be due to the rate of unemployment which has lead them to get involve in different social vices like drinking, drug usage, kidnapping, stealing etc that is not good for the development of the nation as a whole. A Road crash is the highest killer of young people. Youths within age 15-29 die more as a result of road crashes than hiv/aids, malaria, or homicide.

It is an accepted phenomenon that the Youths of today are Nation Builders and tomorrow future leaders. This youth boils out from different ethnic background, languages, colour of skin or cultures and they unite themselves to make the nation a safer place to live.

The Federal Road Safety Commission been established in 1988 by the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida era has created an organs that paved way for the participation of the youths which is actually through the FRSC clubs in schools.

Youths as vanguard of road traffic safety in Nigeria has been a campaign for ages and an adage says “charity begins at home”. Road accidents has affected the lives of many youths and it has left many on the wheel chairs because of their low level of Drive and road safety education.

There have been numerous campaigns on the use of safety seat belts by drivers but many of these drivers always bend the rules and become traffic offenders. With the introduction of FRSC clubs in schools and NYSC/FRSC clubs, it has now brought the people closer to the government. No parent will want to lay a bad example for their wards and when these children give opinions to their parents, both parties are safe on the road and it bring about reduction in crashes in the road.

The youths are the first point of contact by the government to bring about safer environment for living because they are they segment that comprises much in the society and their activities is needed more.They are in prime age and they also youths tends to take advice from each other especially on safety matters. Therefore there is a need for road safety awareness been carried out by themselves which can be assisted by the government. They have the capabilities to assimilate and learn fast and if they are been taught at the tender age, it sticks with them even when they start driving their own vehicles. More so, there are cases of youths who are victims of road accidents due to there carelessness. Instances of prominent individuals like Dagrin, a popular Nigerian musicians, Paul Walker, a prominent American movie actor etc have lost their lives because simple road use negligence.If dagrin has talked about road safety maybe the tanker before him won’t drive roughly or will have a traffication light and there won’t have been a crash or Paul Walker had not over speed. The situation at hand in present world has digressed to the stage that, 15years old child can now drive when the law stipulated that it should be 18years and above. This is causes difficulties in creating a safer road. the law enforcers need to curtail these activities to prevent further road crashes.

Another cause for road crashes among the youth is due to inexperience. Most of the young drivers don’t really have knowledge about the various driving techniques and this tends to cause difficulties for other road users. Parents should not just get there wards vehicles because they think they are tall or influential in the society because it will definitely tell on the child in the nearest future. Through this medium, the various sign rules, traffic regulations etc will be passed down to the ward and later shared among friends and their parents. Furthermore, it will bring about behavioral changes among their peers and their parents.

Young children are not yet aware of the concept of dangers and must learn to realize the danger in heart in the road environment. A clear improvement in the recognition of how to cope with the danger of crossing the road occurs around age 7and 8 and this is a good development.

As said earlier, majority of commercial drivers are youths are they are the other focal point for championing a safer road for fuller lives. They tend to behave on the laid down principles of their associations and even what other people are doing. They can obey all the safety precautions but a lot still need to be put in place.

firstly, sensitization exercise needs to be conducted regularly in-order to educate the drivers. Through this exercise, they can check there vehicles regularly and obey all road use signs and regulations. Public enlightenments should cut across all the various areas ranging from the schools, churches, mosques, companies etc so that everyone will be aware of the consequences backing up the breaking of road rules and regulations.

The second medium needed to be used to achieve this objective is that, the curriculum should also be encouraged in the tertiary institutions. As the case maybe in order to prevent another issue rising up, it should be developed more in National Youth Corp members who serve their fatherland for a year. These set of people can help preach the gospel according of safer road, fuller lives and it will greatly reduce road crashes. They will be in good positions to tutor the young ones well and build up a great nation with less road crashes.

in the light of the above, it will be established that, information is easily spread among youths through the social medias, internets etc and gradually, the objectives of the Federal Road Safety Commission will be achieved and there will be reduction in road crashes.

Olagbemi Olamide Mobolaji

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

I Won’t Support One Party State- Buhari…Orders Security Details To Obey Traffic Rules

President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his government will not betray them, saying 2015 will go down in the political history of Nigeria as a glorious year. Buhari who spoke today in Abuja when he received a delegation from Taraba state led by the APC governorship  candidate, Senator Aisha Alhassan said the Nigerian people sacrificed a lot to achieve the success currently being celebrated across the country.

While acknowledging the fact that some people lost in the process, the President-elect said “We will never betray the people because they have risked everything. Some even lost their lives in the struggle to make sure that APC succeed and that we have a leadership in place that they trust. That is what multi party democracy is all about”.
He also assured that he will form a broad based government saying “I assure you that the government of the APC, when eventually put in place will be a competent Nigerian government”.

Explaining while he believes in multi partly democracy, Buhari said “I will tell you what made me a multi party democrat. In 1991, after coming out of detention, I was sitting at home and the Soviet Union collapsed. They were the world power fighting the western world. In technology, they were the first to go to space in 19567 and they had more intercontinental war heads than NATO. They had more sophisticated weapons, but something happened. There was confusion and everybody went there.

“Today, there are 18 countries in the former Soviet Union. That was when I believed that multi party democratic system is a superior form of governance and that is why I joined democracy. We have made a big stride this year and I assure you God willing, if we survive the next four years, Nigerians will be in a position to confidently raise their head up and elect their own representatives and leaders.

“They will choose those they want as their representatives from local government, states and to the centre. I will fight for free, fair and credible election because that is why I remained in politics. I thank you very much for the sacrifices you have made to make sure we succeeded”.

Gen. Buhari said further told the delegation that “I think that 2015 will go down in Nigerian political history as a glorious year. Nigerians have deliberately understood what is multi party democracy. But we thank God for technology-PVC and card reader.

“If not this luck we had with technology and the insistence of constituencies to make sure they are used, in two political zones where they were subverted, the people wanted to vote, but hey were not allowed to vote. They continued with what they used to do, sat in their party offices or their seating rooms, write the results, go to radio house and television house and announce the result and say whoever does not want the result should go to court.
“How many people can go to court when they are struggling to get the next day’s meal. Where will they get the millions to give to those Senior Advocates of Nigeria. I was able to do it because of the goodwill of Nigerians.

“People agreed that I am not a very rich man, but I was lucky that Nigerians believe in me and they put their strength together, voted and made sure that their votes count. I say thanks to the technology. Please continue to support those among you that you feel will go and work for your state and for the country”
On the battle for the governorship seat of the state, he said “It is a battle well fought and I am very pleased that you have taken the honourable way out. According to the Nigerian constitution,  you go to court. I was there three times and ended up in the Supreme Court.

“Sometimes, people wonder why I tried so hard. I tried so hard because it is a system I believe in. I believe that multi party democratic system is the best form of governance with a big caveat that election must be free and fair. Really this is why I am in it. I was in APP. I joined partisan politics in April 2002 and on that date, at my ward, I said that those who knew me, and myself, following my career in the military, if people say that I will participate in partisan politics, people would not believe it and I will not also believe it.

“But I found myself in it and I never turned back. Within one year, APP gave me the ticket. There were governors, senators and much older people than me, but all the same, I got the ticket. I lost, I was in court for 30 months. In 2007, we tried to have a limited merger and became ANPP and again, I participated and was told I lost.

” I went to court for 20 months up to the Supreme Court and I felt that my party was not fair to me. While I was in court, the leadership of he party proceeded and took two marginal ministries in late Yar’adua’s cabinet and an Adviser. For that disgraceful behavior by the party leadership, I left the party and we floated the CPC. Again, I attempted in 2011 and lost again, I was in court for about eight months and I contested now for the fourth time under APC having successfully gone through with the merger of the three legacy parties.

“So, Aisha, don’t give up. You are younger and this is your first attempt. I contested three times and this is my fourth attempt. I hope that you succeed in the court. I am impressed by the quality of Taraba people you brought here. I think that the whole of Taraba is here and I am very grateful for that.”

Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation, Senator Aisha Alhasan appealed to the President-elect to ensure a fair deal for Taraba state in his government adding that the state has been unfairly treated in the past.

Meanwhile, in what appears to be an unusual step to demonstrate his leadership style, the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has instructed police and military security personnel attached to him to respect traffic regulations during his movements.

 In a statement released by his media team in Abuja, General Buhari said law abiding would be the guiding philosophy of his administration, adding “without leadership by example, the ordinary citizens would become copycats of the lawlessness of their leaders.” The President-elect explained that the “arrogance of power, lawlessness and disregard for the rights and convenience of fellow citizens would have no place in my government.”

 According to him, for leaders to inspire respect, they must obey the laws of country, adding that when leaders treat the country’s laws with contempt, they might send the wrong message to the citizens. General Buhari lamented a situation where fellow citizens are punished at traffic points and public roads because of the “arrogant lawlessness of the leaders.”

 He said in a democracy, leaders should not inflict inconveniences and other unbearable ordeals on the citizens for their own comfort. The President-elect advised his military and police security personnel to be in tune with his philosophy of “bringing the rule of law in the conduct of leaders during their movements on public roads.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]