RECENTLY, the Ondo State Government frowned at the high violation of traffic rules by some road users in the state, especially those in the act of driving against traffic, known as “One Way Driving,” and overloading. Special Adviser on Transport to the state Governor, Tobi Ogunleye, had decried the act of recklessness and negligence of some road users who show no regard for other drivers. Government therefore warned that henceforth, motorists, tricyclists and okada riders caught engaging in overloading and driving vehicles, not road worthy, would face the full wrath of the law
THIS attitude, we state, clearly reflects the general indiscipline and breakdown of law and order in the country. Some law enforcement agencies and their officers are seen to be breaking the rules, when the system authorizing people to drive is compromised and faulty as majority of drivers indulge in unsafe driving behaviour.
A recent incident was a crash in which many passengers were killed in a fatal road accident which occurred at the Jubilee Area of Ikare Akoko, Ondo State. The accident which involved a Toyota 14-seater commercial bus was one of the many cases of reckless driving by drivers not well groomed nor conversant with road traffic laws. According to the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service, ODIRS, 80 percent of commercial drivers and 64 percent of private drivers have no license, while majority of drivers have no prerequisite skill for it.
THE statistics, according to report, emanated from an exercise conducted to check the drivers’ licenses of road users by men of the Vehicle Inspection Office, VIO, and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).In a chat with The Hope, Mr. Alaba Adeleye, the Ondo State Director of VIO, said they got the report as a result of capturing of all commercial and private drivers in the state.
CERTAINLY, there are many uncertified people on the roads, as many drivers got their licences through the back door. A deeper analysis of driving culture in the state will reveal that a larger percentage of road users (drivers)in the state are ‘illegal drivers.’ Unlicensed drivers on the roads constitute nuisance and risk to other drivers. Some of them are vicious while on the roads and have sent many other road users and pedestrians to their early graves while others are injured and deformed.
WE, therefore, appeal to the conscience of those saddled with the responsibilities of safeguarding the roads, especially the VIOs and the FRSC, to carry out their duty with patriotism. They should ensure every driver passes through the normal processes of acquiring driving skills and be properly groomed, to avoid further havocs on the roads. Also, they should mark out the roads with the right road signs to guide the road users
JUST as it is enforced in other civil societies, where intending drivers go to driving schools , or like in the United States, where it is compulsory for every intending road user to write examination before they are certified, we should go back to the drawing board to insist that only those with prerequisite skills are licensed to drive.
WE commend the Ondo State Government for the establishment of a standard driving institution and insist that whoever wishes to drive in the state must enroll at the state driving school and that every commercial driver in the state should go through the school to obtain basic certificate.
ANOTHER issue of major concern is the state of Nigerian roads which are in bad shape. These roads have become death traps to road users and passengers. Government’s insensitivity to the condition of the roads has contributed to incessant terrible accidents in virtually all the states across the nation.
The Hope appeals to governments at various levels, saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding the lives of its citizens, have a pivotal role to play in ensuring the roads are put in good condition, so as to reduce the preventable crashes.
THERE is need for civil organizations to ensure that government does the right thing and those in transport sector should see to enforcement of the law by necessary agencies. The excess of drivers who drive in convoys and overtake other lanes headlong, which sometimes result into several crashes, should be checkmated. Also, the media should keep relevant government agencies under monitoring, while they expose violators of traffic rules.
THE HOPE reiterates that other states in the federation should take a cue from Lagos State, where traffic offenders are made to undergo psychiatric tests, when they violate the law.
WE, therefore, appeal to Nigerians to cultivate good attitude to traffic rules and regulations. And peradventure, if anyone breaks the law, he or she must face the natural consequences of his action.