Hot NewsInterview

Level-crossing gate would have prevented Lagos deadly train-bus clash – FRSC spokesman

The Corps Public Education Officer, Federal Roads Safety Corps, Mr Bisi Kazeem, in this interview with ABIODUN SANUSI explains the causes of train-bus accidents and how they can be reduced.

1. Qst: What are the major causes of road accidents in Nigeria?

There are three major causes of road traffic crashes: human, mechanical, and environmental. Out of the three, the human factor constitutes about 90 per cent of road crashes in Nigeria, 80 per cent of which are based on drivers’ actions or reactions.

Available road traffic crash records in our database have clearly shown that the attitude of the average Nigerian driver towards driving codes and etiquette is the single most important contributing factor leading to crashes, and this solely contributes to about 80 per cent of road traffic crashes. While others, such as passengers and pedestrians, constitute the remaining 10 per cent of human causes.

On the drivers’ side, lack of concentration, overconfidence, fatigue, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, dangerous overtaking, and wrong parking, among others contribute to crashes.

On the other hand, the actions of passengers, who in most cases are the major casualties of crashes, include distraction and a nonchalant attitude, whereby they most often do not care to check the condition of the car before boarding. In addition, they often neglect the driver when he is speeding or driving recklessly.

And lastly, pedestrians, also contribute to road traffic crashes by not observing road traffic rules and regulations, also contribute. Some pedestrians walk or run across the road without looking and ensuring the road is safe to do so, while others do not wear reflective dresses or clothes at night so that drivers could easily see them. These behaviours contribute to road traffic crashes.

2. Qst: What has the FRSC done to resolve or curb these issues?

Education, enlightenment, sensitisation, and advocacy campaigns are needed to change the negative behaviours of road users.

On the other hand, we deploy our teams for the enforcement of traffic laws to deter offenders who violate them on our roads.

We have established the National Traffic Radio (107.1FM) to broaden the scope of our advocacy campaigns. We have enhanced our visibility on the highways and injected more operational tools into our operations.

3. Qst: What are those things you think should be done on the part of the citizens to alleviate the efforts of the FRSC?

We have always stated that road safety is everybody’s business, a collective responsibility that accrues to all citizens.

Everybody has a role to play in achieving a safe motoring environment. People’s level of safety consciousness should be reawakened. We should speak up when we see other road users violating established traffic regulations.

If you go through the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy II (2021-2030), a document that contains FRSC strategies to combat road crashes and reduce the trauma and fatalities that come with them, you will realise that the responsibility of making the highways safer for all has been made all-encompassing with roles and responsibilities clearly defined.

4. Qst: How do you think the recent bus-train crash in Lagos could have been avoided?

It is simple; the crash itself was avoidable if only the driver exhibited discipline, and the passengers also played their part by calling him to order when he took the wrong path. Notwithstanding, if level-crossing railway gates are constructed by relevant authorities on all rail lines in urban centres, crashes like this would be curtailed by 100

5. Qst: How do you think the recent bus-train crash in Lagos could have been avoided?

It is simple; the crash itself was avoidable if only the driver exhibited discipline, and the passengers also played their part by calling him to order when he took the wrong path. Notwithstanding, if level-crossing railway gates are constructed by relevant authorities on all rail lines in urban centres, crashes like this would be curtailed by 100 per cent.

6. Qst: Many road users have complained that there are not enough road signs on our roads; what’s the FRSC doing about this?

The FRSC only has a standard signage plant that produces road signs that meet global standards. We are not in the business of constructing roads; rather, our responsibility includes auditing the roads and making recommendations to the Federal and State Ministries of Works, FERMA, and other agencies responsible for road construction on the need to have all road infrastructures in place when roads are constructed. Where the signs are not placed, it’s our responsibility to bring them to their attention officially, and we have been doing that.

Many road users have complained that there are not enough road signs on our roads; what’s the FRSC doing about this?

The FRSC only has a standard signage plant that produces road signs that meet global standards. We are not in the business of constructing roads; rather, our responsibility includes auditing the roads and making recommendations to the Federal and State Ministries of Works, FERMA, and other agencies responsible for road construction on the need to have all road infrastructures in place when roads are constructed. Where the signs are not placed, it’s our responsibility to bring them to their attention officially, and we have been doing that.

7. Qst: What’s the difference between the duties of the FRSC and those of the Vehicle Inspection Service officer?

The FRSC is a federal establishment given the mandate of being the lead agency in road safety administration and traffic management.

Our mission and vision are to eradicate road traffic crashes and create a safer motoring environment through robust public education, prompt rescue service, effective patrol operations, enhanced stakeholder collaboration, robust data management, and comprehensive motor vehicle administration.

The motor vehicle administration is an agency established by state governments and the FCT for vehicle inspection and other roles that will complement the Federal Road Safety Corps as well as advance safety on our roads. We are all working towards the same goal, with a clearly stated mandate.

According to the WHO, an estimated 41,693 deaths are expected to occur from road accidents annually. What new first aid plans does the FRSC have to attend to victims?

Prevail Inegbenose

Prevail Inegbenose is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Spark Media & Entertainment Ventures, the Publisher of Spark News Daily - Nigeria's most sought-after online newspaper in Government, Politics, Sport, Entertainment and Religion. Prevail Inegbenose studied Mass Communication from the prestigious Auchi Polytechnic Auchi and graduated in 2007. He is an experienced journalist with 16 years of active and practical journalism. Prevail Inegbenose is the Lead Pastor, House of God Int'l - Rest Tabernacle, Abuja - Nigeria. Tel: 08039564796.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button