Religious organisations and road safety education

The World Health Organisation Reports revealed that about 1.4 million deaths and over 50 million injuries are attributed to road accidents every year globally with most of them occurring in African Countries (including Nigeria).

Nigeria was recently ranked as the third country with the highest rate of accidents and fatalities among 193 countries and thereby declared one of the most dangerous countries to drive in the world.

The above – mentioned status reports on Road Safety in Nigeria are worrisome and embarrassing thereby calling for drastic and down to earth proactive measures to effectively combat the menace.

The death of a single person in a road accident has psychological, social, and economic effects on other road users, family members, Religious institutions, service providers, business organisation and governments.

One of the effective proactive measures I want to encourage here is that all religious organisations should get more involved in road safety education in their assemblies.

It has become more expedient now than ever for all Religious Organisations to be exposed to comprehensive education in Pedestrians safety, safe riding techniques, causes of road accidents and the rules for safe driving.

Organising programmes on road safety on other days outside the regular worship time can never be as effective and well attended as having the lectures during the regular worship days. That is, religious organisations should have periodic lectures on road safety issues in place of the normal sermon (sermon – time in Churches, Mosques and other popular and well – attended religious gathering).

Religious organisations must get more committed to reducing the number of widows, widowers, orphans and dependants through the reduction of the number of deaths and injuries on Nigerian roads by organising and supporting public education programmes on Road Safety in every part of Nigeria.

The Federal Road Safety Commission and the Association of Driving Instructors of Nigeria (a coalition of driving schools in Nigeria) are willing and equipped to assist the religious organisations in providing quality road safety education to their congregation in any part of the country.

We shall all give account of our actions and inactions concerning the prevention of deaths and injuries on Nigeria roads. A stitch in time saves nine.

By Jide Owatunmise Registrar /Chief Executive, Professional Driving and Safety Academy

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