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The menace called "danfo" drivers

15 October 2012, 10:45

Over the years, the mere mention of danfo drivers readily brings to mind the menace associated with this cliche. They have become synonymous with recklessness, drunkenness, irresponsibility and what have you. As much as I know they all don’t fit into my above description, majority of them could be classified as such. This on its own poses a major threat to fellow road users.

As much as Lagos State has over the years tried to regulate them, somehow they manage to wriggle out of such regulations by tipping those who have been assigned to enforce the laws guiding them, little wonder they find it so easy to misbehave and most often than not get away with their truancy. Getting them out of the road looks like the left option of ensuring the road remains safe to a large extent for other road users but I know some may still want to argue in their favour knowing there will always be some exception to the general belief of them constituting a nuisance.

Looking at the issue from the angle of sentiments, you might want to say the job prevents them from engaging in some form of crime as it affords them the opportunity of being able to fend for their immediate family and in some cases extended. Also the same ‘danfo’ affords the ‘conductor’ that opportunity of eking a living for himself. You might want to ask what alternatives they are going to be left with if they are banished from the road.

Now moving to the logical point of view and properly analysing the typical ‘danfo’ bus driver: I am sure we know a ‘danfo’ driver does not mind running someone over just to make it in time to pick up a #50 passenger, he can stop abruptly, wait on the road till a passenger walks up to him before he zooms up not minding the fact that he is delaying other road users. I beg to be corrected that most of the needless traffic experienced in Lagos can be traced to ‘danfo’ drivers waiting on the road to source for passengers. To make matters worse, most of them see Lagos State Traffic Managers as their enemies; One even vowed to run over anyone of them who dares cross his path.....What a mindset!

Aside all that, how many of them went to a driving school? How many possess a driver’s license? How many ‘danfo’ buses can pass the Ministry of Transportation {MOT} test? How many of them have got complete documentation? As if all these are not enough, most of them drive even when they are dead drunk, so tell me why they won’t misbehave on the road? They seem to have settled in well into the rough lifestyle everyone believes is synonymous with being a ‘danfo’ driver and that kind of mentality needs more than work to be changed.

I might not be powerful enough to take decisions that will affect or restructure the transport system especially as it affects ‘danfo’ drivers but there are just two options to curbing their menace: Either they are completely eradicated or they face a thorough shake up which would lead to an enforced standard practice in that system.

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