THE Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has called for collaboration of Nigerians in ensuring compliance to road safety rules and reducing carnage on the nation’s highways.
At a symposium themed “Driving and the Nigerian in You, Sharing the Responsibility of Safety and Security’’ organised by a media outlet, Newstrail in Lagos, Fashola
said lasting solutions to reckless driving and other traffic offences could be achieved when citizens insist on sanity on the roads.
He recalled an incident when he was governor of Lagos State, where a particular citizen refused to allow a traffic offender driving against traffic have his way by insisting the offender returned to his lane.
Fashola shared slides of roads and under bridges in Lagos obstructed by indiscriminate parking, traders and other infractions causing gridlock and damage to infrastructure.
He also exhibited photos of roads and bridges destroyed in and other parts of the country because some people did business at the cost of public infrastructure.
He said accidents were problems created by humans, which simple obedience to law and order on the roads would reduce.
Citing figures from a 2021 report on the major causes of road crashes he said that 87 per cet of accidents on Nigerian roads would be removed if the major items of human factor were tackled.
Noting that machine and traffic laws must be obeyed, he
said failure of planning laws, illegal street trading, indiscriminate parking, overloading, non-compliance to business laws, lack of enforcement, were some infractions that must be checked by states.
He called for unregistered vehicles to be barred from the roads, no matter the class or status of the road user. This he explained is to avoid criminals exploiting such opportunities for criminality.
“We cannot have big men drive vehicles that are not registered,” he said.
According to him the influx of motorcycles and tricycles on the nation’s highways was causing havoc.
Lamenting the rampant wilful damage to public infrastructure by vandals who steal road furniture, the
minister warned against deliberate damage to roads through various forms of abuse.
The Lagos Sector Commander of the Federal Roads Safety Corps, Mr Olusegun Ogungbemide, who was represented at the event, stressed the need for sanity on the roads.
“The moment we deal with the issue of road safety, then sanity would be restored,’’ he said. (NAN).