Inter-agency cooperation, collaboration and coordination of activities have been identified as a veritable tool to improve road safety enforcement in Nigeria.
This was made known in an 8-point communique issued and sent to Safety Record Newspaper at the conclusion of the annual Road Safety National Conference organized by Road Safety Coalition (RSC) which held recently.
RSC, a coalition of Road Safety-focused NGOs, at its 2016 Summit “brought together stakeholders in the prevention of road traffic crash with the resultant deaths and injuries from around the country to debate, discuss and exchange information and experiences, with a special focus on the ‘effectiveness of the roles of enforcement thus far’.
“The summit was aimed at providing an interactive platform for stakeholders to highlight challenges facing enforcement, discuss best practices and strategies needed to maximize the role of enforcement in providing a coordinated approach to achieving an accident free road,” the communique read in part.
According to the communique, the summit identified problems facing road safety enforcement in Nigeria to include lack of adequate public transportation system, exposure of law enforcers to dangers on the road, lack of collaboration of law enforcement agencies, and inadequate training and equipment to enforce the road safety laws.
Other challenges the summit deliberated include uncooperative attitude of commercial bus operators towards the road safety laws and enforcement agencies, executive lawlessness on the road by members of security and government agencies and the resistance of arrest by other law enforcement agencies, and poor attitude of the enforcement agencies towards road safety enforcement.
To improve the state of road safety enforcement in Nigeria, the summit recommended collaboration of the relevant agencies in ensuring a structured driver licensing structure and change in “perception of members of the public as regards the attitude of all individuals including law enforcement officers towards obeying traffic laws”.
Furthermore, the summit advocated the use of technology to better enhance enforcement process and reduce direct contact between law enforcement agents and motorists, and appealed for continuous education of drivers seeking renewal of driving licenses on road safety laws and practices.
Also, it urged relevant agencies to compile a reliable database of persons and vehicles and harmonization of the data to assist in the better prosecution of traffic offenders.
In the same vein, it called on the organizer of the summit to involve road transport workers unions as major stakeholders in achieving desirable standards of road safety enforcement, and charged other sectors such as banks and insurance companies to get better involved in raising road safety awareness.