I can’t believe we are in March, the months are moving in so fast; we may have to install a “limiting device” on it so we can make much use of it before another month rolls in…Welcome to March.
It is good having you read this column every month; I do hope I am making any sense to you. Blind spot column will continue to focus on road safety from diverse perspectives, proffering opinions for discussion and solution to our common problem.
The Federal Road Safety Commission in her strides to entrench safe driving behaviour into motorist has been doing some awareness around, maintain her presence on the highways, conducting frequent patrol and educating drivers; however, most of these efforts have not yielded commensurate result. I think the recent campaign on installation of speed limiting device is another ruse.
I am of the opinion that the campaign to installing speed limiting devices on commercial vehicles is addressing symptoms and not the cause, putting the cart before the horse as it will not yield any scientific outcome since the application does not have any empirical proof. There are so much that need to be done if we hope to get the kind of result we expect; reducing rate of crashes and its attendant consequences on our roads.
Firstly, how many of our motorist understands the consequence of speeding not to mention over speeding, nor appreciates the concept of speed limit on the highway? How will speed limiting device address collision that occurs at speed below posted speed? Or do we now imply only driving above speed limit is dangerous? World Health Organisation said; “the probability of surviving a collision becomes less as speed increase above 30km/hr”.
Secondly, how many of our roads have the speed limit signs? How many motorists understand the types of speed limit signs we have, or do they have a copy of the Nigerian Highway code which could have helped them to refer their meanings?
Too much of everything is bad, so also is speeding; we can only be successful if we address why motorist speed than limiting speed. One of such is our poor monitoring, weak enforcement, bad enforcement agency modelling and failed infrastructures.
There is need for a more robust and standardized system to train, assess and re-certify drivers before they are licensed. The Highway Code should be made available in softcopy to aid adequate circulation; lives worth more than a token and we sell it.
Deployment of infrastructures that encourages voluntary compliance as it is done in developed countries, reinforced with sound enforcement; we have adequate laws to restore sanity on our roads.
Improve our laws to help proper alignment with road safety regulations and standards during construction of highways; most of the cause of fatalities (death) and factors that escalates collision consequences as recorded on our roads are from unnecessary expensive furniture (road barriers/dividers) that are not crash forgiven, mixed traffic, bad roads and long neglect of the industry in the hands of quacks.
The development of a country cannot surpass the seriousness and attention we place on the Transportation Industry; it measures how serious we are, how organised we can be and how much progress we are making towards civilization. Embracing current solution to our aging problems is the way to go; they are cheap, more adaptable and encourage voluntary compliance…be safe on the road.