It’s very unfortunate that lives are being lost on a daily basis on the Benin-Asaba expressway. Road safety practices have long been neglected by pedestrians and motorists who ply this particular road. The time has come for Anioma people to put salient measures in place to ensure our safety on this expressway. Take a cursory look on Umunede, Ekwuoma, Igbodo , Isele-Azagba, Ubulu-Okiti junctions, trucks have taken over both shoulders of the roads, leaving a narrow path for vehicle’s to ply-on. Cant these towns build truck-parks and collect revenues from the users? Having these trucks park on this expressway in our bane.
Best-practice road safety strategies focuses upon the prevention of serious injury and death crashes in spite of human fallibility, (which is contrasted with the old road safety paradigm of simply reducing crashes assuming road user complies with traffic regulations). Safe road design is now about providing a road environment which ensures vehicle speeds will be within the human tolerances for serious injury and death wherever conflict points exist. Furthermore, the highest possible degree of safety shall be ensured when transporting goods by road. It is of vital importance to monitor and validate the road transportation safety, including comprehensive checks on drivers, vehicles and safety processes. FRSC has to do a lot more in this road to ensure driver-pedestrian safety. Road specific signages are a few on our roads, not just on the Asaba/Benin expressway.
The basic strategy of a Safe System approach is to ensure that in the event of a crash, the impact energies remain below the threshold likely to produce either death or serious injury. This threshold will vary from crash scenario to crash scenario, depending upon the level of protection offered to the road users involved. For example, the chances of survival for an unprotected pedestrian hit by a vehicle diminish rapidly at speeds greater than 30 km/h, whereas for a properly restrained motor vehicle occupant the critical impact speed is 50 km/h (for side impact crashes) and 70 km/h (for head-on crashes).
The time has come for us to have a summit on road safety involving everyone in ANIOMA land as these highways with stationery vehicles parked on the shoulders of the roads are ” a disaster waiting to happen”. So, it’s a clarion call on our dear sons and daughters, philantropists, local, state/ federal governments,friends of ANIOMA, politicians, corporate organisations, Nigerian Institute of Safety Professionals, HSE specialists, road safety marshalls etc to key into this initiative to help save lives and reduce road traffic incidents/accidents to its barest minimum.
Accidents dont just happen for the sake of it. It’s caused in one way or the other by the users of the roads, viz: motorists, cyclist and pedestrians. May the souls of the victims rest in perfect peace, Amen.
By MARTINS OKOCHA