We must appreciate the great and supportive roles of the FRSC in making our roads safer. Without the efforts of the FRSC and Road Traffic Wardens (including states agencies), road users would have had continuous bad stories to tell.
I have personally witnessed a situation on Ibadan-Oyo Road where the FRSC officials blocked a public commuter bus for wrong driving. I also personally stopped by to have a fruitful discussion with some FRSC officials whose leader politely came out of his car to have discussions with me. This shows that there are officials who respect other Nigerians. This is most commendable. When we do this, others would also respect us. This would reinforce public confidence in government agents.
However, I need to point out some factors militating against safety and sanity on our roads. We do need effective motor vehicle inspection agencies as established in developed countries. Most cars on the roads produce poisonous emissions and yet are allowed to ply our roads. Some give up thick smokes that make it impossible for cars coming behind to see properly. Some rickety cars with poor states are also on our roads. Some drivers drive recklessly and with cars in poor states. Some are simply too much in a hurry to get to their destinations. Most importantly, are the heavy duty vehicles such as the trailers on our roads. Trailer drivers are most reckless and constitute serious problems to road safety.
We also need to properly maintain our roads control lights. Sometimes, I have witnessed two situations where state’s road maintenance officials directed drivers to keep driving on even when the control light is on RED. This could have possibly been due to the long time it takes for drivers on one side to get moving. It would, therefore, be most appropriate to edit the timing of the control lights rather than asking drivers to drive against traffic light control. This could get drivers confused. It also have a way of making drivers to be unsure of when to obey traffic lights. Thereby reducing obedience and compliance levels of some drivers.
We also need to employ more road maintenance officers to keep sanity on our roads. Sometimes, the work becomes too tedious for the officers and wrong directives are given. Personally, I have witnessed such situations. This much I discussed recently with a friend (who was riding with me) on the demerits of such wrong directives. Clearly, with the high unemployment rate in the country, we do need more officials to maintain sanity on our roads. Furthermore, the deplorable conditions of our roads must be changed for the better.
We must as a matter of urgency increased the emolument packages of the officials. I have previously read about the poor remunerations and job incentives of Road Traffic Wardens when compared to police officers. This is rather sad. Because as far as police officers are concerned, they are simply poorly paid. How much more traffic wardens! We must reward our security agents here on earth (before the hereafter) for laying down their lives to keep the country safe.
Adelaja Akinlolu is an academic staff of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.
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