The alarming increase in the rate of accidents on Nigerian roads is a source of worry to many people within and outside the country. Road accidents are daily occurrences across the country and many Nigerians have lost their lives through those accidents while many others have been maimed.
What could have been responsible for this alarming rate of accidents on the Nigerian roads? Definitely, there are number of factors responsible. Firstly, majority of the drivers on Nigerian roads are reckless in driving. It is seems as there is no traffic laws in Nigeria as many drivers do not obey traffic rules. As a result of the poor attitude towards obeying traffic rules, many drivers drive recklessly on Nigerian roads not minding the safety of other road users.
Pedestrians too are also in danger, as they are often rundown by fast moving vehicles.
Secondly, many drivers drive under the influence of alcohol and hard drugs. It is only in Nigeria that you find a driver behind the wheel after taking some bottles of beer or other forms of alcoholic drinks. These drivers mostly overspeed and do not obey the traffic rules. They over take vehicles at dangerous bends and drive their vehicles with their eye half closed.
The problem of teenage drivers is another important factor responsible for incessant road accidents on Nigerian roads. In Nigeria, many parents release their cars to their children who are often too young to drive. They do this to show class or status and even when parents do not give approval for their teenage children to drive their cars these teenagers often surreptitiosly get hold of the keys to their parents’ car only to drive carelessly and recklessly on the roads, there by putting no value on either their lives or those of others plying the roads.
Moreover, in Nigeria it is as if it was not an offence to drive without licence. Many drivers do not have driver licence and some who have do not go through the rigorous exercise of learning how to drive before the licences are issued to them. Some obtain their driving licences without being tested, because their driving licences are given to them right in their homes.
However, incidence of road accident on Nigerian roads can be curbed, if not totally eradicated through these means, traffic rules and laws must be enforced if we want to the rate of accidents on our roads. The Road Safety Corps, and other law enforcement agencies must be alive to their responsibilities.
Guilty drivers who violate traffic rules must be dealt with and prosecuted so as to serve as deterrent to others. The fact is that these drivers are often let off the hook, once they accept to grease the palms of the traffic regulatory officers.
Moreso, alcohol centers and beer parlors should be be outlawed in Nigerian motor parks.
This would go a long way in reducing incidence of accident on Nigerian roads. Anybody caught selling alcohol or hard drugs within the parks should be prosecuted according to law.
This can only be achieved if all hands are put on desk to enforce traffic rules on our roads.
Kishi, Oyo State.