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Road accident

When stories of fatal accidents continue to make the news, it is a reminder of the need for safer roads in our country. The latest incident happened along the Tombia-Amassoma Road in Bayelsa State, where five persons lost their lives in a head-on collision between a black Toyota SUV vehicle and a Mazda 323F car. While one female passenger survived and is receiving treatment at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, the driver of the Mazda car and four other passengers died on the spot.

Similarly, in Odeomu, Osun State, 16 people were burnt alive when a commercial Mazda bus collided with a private Lexus vehicle, causing the gas cylinder in the trunk of the bus to explode and burst into flames. Only four people survived, including the driver of the affected bus, a security agent, a corps member, and a lady.

These accidents are becoming all too frequent, and there is an urgent need to take steps that will prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. Here are some measures that can be taken:

 

  1. Improve road infrastructure:

One of the primary reasons for road accidents is poor road infrastructure. There are often potholes, sharp bends, and blind spots that make it difficult for drivers to navigate safely. The government should invest in repairing and maintaining the roads and highways, as well as constructing new ones, especially those that are prone to accidents. This effort would include improving the road signs and markings to provide clear guidance to motorists.

 

  1. Enforce speed limits:

Speeding is another major cause of road accidents. The government must enforce speed limits on all roads and highways, installing speed cameras or employing personnel to monitor speeding vehicles. They should also impose penalties on offenders, including fines or suspension of their driving licenses.

 

  1. Crackdown on drunk driving:

Drunk driving is a severe danger on the roads. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs should not be allowed to operate their vehicles. The authorities must take strong measures to curb this menace, including conducting sobriety tests at checkpoints and imposing harsh penalties on offenders.

 

  1. Require seat belt and child restraint:

The use of seat belts is a proven way to reduce fatalities in accidents. The government should require every vehicle to have seat belts fitted, and drivers should enforce their use. Similarly, young children must wear appropriate restraints while riding in cars. The legislature should pass laws mandating parents or guardians to ensure the safety of children by using proper car seats or booster seats.

 

  1. Increase public education and awareness:

Many people do not realize the risks they take when driving carelessly, such as texting or using their phones while driving. Others erroneously believe that they can safely drive under adverse conditions such as heavy rain, fog, or poor lighting. Public education campaigns, school programmes, and advertising campaigns focusing on road safety can help to raise awareness about the dangers of reckless driving and encourage better road habits.

In conclusion, it’s clear that there is a need for concerted efforts to prevent road accidents in Nigeria. It is vital that all stakeholders – government agencies, transport companies, and road users – work together to achieve this goal. By implementing these measures, we can make our roads safer, save lives, reduce injuries, and promote economic growth. Let us all commit to making our roads safer today!

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