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NGO canvasses bill on safer roads

20 May 2013, 07:37

Lagos - Mrs Temidayo Ogan of the Temidayo Ogan Child Safety and Support (TOCSS) Foundation, on Sunday called for a bill for safer road and road usage to minimise accidents in Nigeria.

Ogan, the leader of the NGO, made the call at a forum organised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Victory Chapel, Magodo, Lagos.

She said that there was an urgent need to stop the increase of violence and preventable injuries and deaths, arising from driving on with the road.

Ogan noted that road traffic injuries and deaths had become a serious burden for the health sector.

"There is an alarming increase in the rate of road crashes and resultant injuries. There is an urgent need to tackle this, and most of these accidents are not recorded.

"Injuries and deaths resulting from road crashes have become a burden to the health sector, especially as there is no accurate statistics on this.

"Dying as a result of road traffic crash entails death from even three months after the crash.

"And because we don’t follow up, people even die two months after they were involved in crashes," she said.

Ogan said that all tiers of government should collectively enforce a road safety system in the country.

"Government should get more interested in road safety. The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) is working hard but we have to do better.

"Our roads need to be in good condition. People also need to have better understanding of road usage and safety. It is necessary to have a bill for safer roads.

"We need walkways. We need to get the few walkways back from petty trading. We need street lights.

"Our roads should be fixed. We demand safer vehicles with better safety features," the TOCSS official said.

She said there was need for heightened road safety awareness.

"Bus (Danfo) drivers, tricycle, better known as (Keke Marwa) drivers, articulated vehicles operators.

"The drivers of privately-owned vehicles, children, pedestrians, everybody, we all need to have a total re-orientation on road usage and safety.

"Many of us move vehicles. We are not driving. We need to check this, right from the foundation.

"We are talking about screening, reading road signs, road markings, and other measures.

"Drivers should observe road traffic laws, right of ways, seat belts and approved car seats where applicable. All cars should be road worthy.

"Commercial drivers as well as private car drivers must all be made to be compliant," she said.

Ogan noted that pedestrians also had to be road safety conscious.

"As pedestrians, we should know how to use the road too. You do not walk on the road under any influence.

"There is what we call walking under influence (WUI). You need your utmost concentration when you are on the road, because any distraction could be fatal.’’

Ogan said that TOCSS Foundation just concluded a road observation survey.

"It is on record that almost 80 per cent of road traffic crashes involving pedestrians in Nigeria are majorly caused by impaired walking, poor visibility clothing and poor/unsafe road crossing."

According to Ogan, it is also important to improve on research and data.

"We have to promote general health safety and environment. We have to step up in terms of data collation and statistics.

"There is a need to conduct and support research in injury control.

"A World Report on road traffic injury prevention, estimates that over 1,2 million people die from road traffic crash, and another 50 million people get injured as a result of interfacing with the road.

"This means that about 350 people die daily. It can be likened to an air crash occurring daily on the surface of the earth.

"Yet, Nigeria is not effectively captured in this statistics because we have challenges with data collation," she said.



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