A change in attitude among Nigerians to road safety and care for other road users will drastically reduce road accidents across the country.
This was the submission of participants at a symposium in Ikeja area of Lagos tagged “Driving and the Nigerian in You, Sharing the Responsibility of safety and Security”
The participants agreed that road traffic accident is the leading cause of injury-related deaths, and Nigeria’s third-leading cause of overall deaths, the leading cause of trauma-related deaths and the most common cause of disability.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola who was the lead speaker listed nineteen causes of accidents noting that human actions constitute thirteen of them and if these were curbed, the number of accidents recorded daily on the roads would be reduced.
The Minister who highlighted the various rehabilitation works carried out by the Federal government to ensure safe interstate commuting across the nation, emphasized that until citizens begin to raise alarm over unethical road practices whenever they see such, the impact of such actions would continue to linger.
“Until we act and say traders cannot trade on our roads, buses cannot park on the lane, pedestrians must remain on the sidewalk that separate motorists from the pedestrians, we will live with the rage, the gridlock, the stress, death, the impact on health and the general lack of productivity that we are now experiencing” Mr Fashola stressed.
On his part, the Lagos Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Olusegun Ogungbemide said last year (2021) one hundred and fifty seven deaths, aside injuries were recorded in road traffic accidents in Lagos, despite increased advocacy and enforcement by the Agency
Mr Ogungbemide who regretted that some law enforcement officers encourage breaking of road regulations and laws, thereby encouraging others to do so, stated that the system would not work without the support of citizens.
“Any society where infraction is overwhelming for the enforcement it cannot succeed, Nigerians should they and appreciate and keep the law, so that we can get it right, so many things have gone wrong, so we have to re-orientate ourselves” he said
On the responsibilities of citizens and government, a safety advocate, Mr. Patrick Adenusi who urged the relevant authorities to ensure good roads and timely maintenance, condemned entrenched abnormal behaviours, including driving against traffic among all Nigerians.
The Convener of the forum, Ms Adetola Kayode explained that concern over the spate of road abuse and abuse of other road users gingered her to organize the forum with the aim of proffering practicable solutions that would ensure safety and security of all road users across Nigeria .
She said “Nigeria is our country, we have to Fox this country by ourselves, if we get people to obey rules and traffic regulations, we get to do our country right”
Ms Adetola Kayode who is a broadcast journalist noted that by being mindful of other road users and obeying traffic regulations, commuting would be less stressful for all.