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The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is one of the busiest highways in Nigeria, connecting two major cities and serving as a major transportation route for goods and passengers. Unfortunately, it has become notorious for road accidents, with thousands of lives lost over the years due to reckless driving, brake failure, and other causes. The recent tragic incident that claimed the lives of seven people, including two children, is a painful reminder of the need for urgent action to address the issue of road safety.

According to the spokesperson for the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Florence Okpe, the accident was caused by excessive speed and brake failure, which led to a loss of control of the vehicle. The bus, which was carrying 22 passengers, crashed and went up in flames, burning some of the occupants to death. While the injured victims were taken to the Lagos State Accident Emergency Centre, Ojota, the corpses were deposited at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital’s morgue in Sagamu.

To prevent such incidents from occurring in the future, it is essential to take proactive measures that address the root causes of road accidents. One of the most critical factors is regular vehicle maintenance. As noted by the FRSC Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu, fleet and commercial vehicle operators, as well as private vehicle owners, must prioritize routine and regular vehicle maintenance. This includes checking the brakes, tires, engine, and other critical parts of the vehicle to ensure that they are functioning correctly.

In addition to vehicle maintenance, drivers must also observe speed limits and drive responsibly on the road, especially when carrying passengers or goods. Particular attention must be paid to sharp bends, steep hills, and other sections of the road that require caution. It is crucial to remember that the safety of passengers and other road users is paramount and should never be compromised for the sake of speed or convenience.

Furthermore, the government has a critical role to play in ensuring that roads are well maintained and safe for use. This includes the installation of speed breakers and other traffic control measures that can prevent accidents caused by excessive speed. The construction of dual carriageways, flyovers, and other infrastructure upgrades can also help to reduce congestion and improve overall road safety.

Emergency response services must also be adequately equipped and staffed to respond promptly to road accidents and provide necessary medical assistance to victims. This includes the provision of ambulances, first aid kits, and trained paramedics who can administer lifesaving treatment at the scene of the accident.

Finally, there is a need for stricter enforcement of traffic laws and regulations, and the imposition of stiffer penalties for reckless driving and other traffic offenses. This can serve as a deterrent to drivers who flout traffic rules and put themselves and others at risk. The FRSC and other law enforcement agencies must be empowered to enforce these laws effectively and bring offenders to justice.

The recent tragic incident on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is a grim reminder of the urgent need to prioritize road safety in Nigeria. Preventing accidents caused by reckless driving and brake failure requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including vehicle owners, drivers, the government, emergency response services, and law enforcement agencies. By taking proactive measures such as regular vehicle maintenance, observing speed limits, and investing in road infrastructure, we can prevent needless loss of life and ensure that our roads are safe for all.

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