African road safety day - HENRY'S BUSINESS DRIVE

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

African road safety day

The Africa Road Safety/ World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Crash Victims (WDR) was borne out of the resolutions attained in the event of the Africa Union Executive Council EX.CL. /Dec. 682 (XX) of January 2012 and the United Nations Resolution A/60/5 of 26 Oct. 2005.
The joint agreement seeks to identify with victims of road traffic crash and families as well as creating awareness through rallies and other events on the need to replicate best road practice and safety consciousness at all times.
The decision led to the adoption of the 3rd Sunday of November each year to commemorate those killed and injured on the world’s roads and share the grief with their families through reflections, the huge burden and cost of Road Traffic Crashes.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report of 2012, Road Traffic Crash ranked the tenth (10th) leading causes of death the World over with over 1.3 million recorded in the past Decade and between 20 and 50 million sustaining serious injuries. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the victims of the crashes came from developing economies referred to as the third world countries.
The campaign to reduce the increasing rate of road traffic crashes (RTC) on our roads, should therefore, not be left in the hands of the Federal Road Safety Corps alone. The entire populace should rather be involved.
One of the major cause of road crashes that we have discovered is speed violation, which is a deliberate behavior by the driver who should know the risks involved but would decide to ignore the danger. Studies have shown that up to 90 percent of all licensed drivers violate the speed limit at some points in their driving career, with about 75 percent admitting to committing the offense regularly.
It is regrettable that all car drivers consider the consequences of speeding before making the decision to do so. But speed violation is not just speeding above 100 kilometer per hour, rather, every point of the road has its own specific speed limits, which must be observed, depending on the nature of the road.
Thus as one travels through the road, he passes through built up areas, schools, markets , bridges , and places of worship which require different speed limits. Safety conscious individuals must therefore take cognizance of these places.
For the avoidance of doubt, some of the commonest traits exhibited by road users which contribute to road traffic crashes with the attendant risk factors are;
 Drinking and driving under the influence of Alcohol.
 Non use of Seat belts
 Non use of Child restraints
 Failure to use motorcycle helmets
 Cell phone use and texting while driving;
 Illegal diversion to construction sites.
 Over loading of vehicles.
In line with the decisions of the African Union (AU) and the United Nation’s Resolution for the annual remembrance of victims of road traffic crashes, the third Sunday of November each year was set aside as the day. Accordingly, we have mapped out series of activities to mark the 2014 edition, as is being observed through this Church service today.
I therefore, urge all members of the congregation to endeavor to always incorporate enlightenment campaign in road safety as part of their schedule of programme of the Church. For road traffic crashes don’t just happen, they are caused either by our action or inactions and could therefore be prevented if traffic rules and regulations are well observed.
There is no wisdom in praying to God’s protection in the course of a journey in a vehicle whose drive operate with worn out tyres and cruising at a speed of 130km per hour. We must therefore, use the period of the remembrance day to caution road users to imbibe good road safety habits for everyone to arrive safely and reunite with their family and loved ones in one piece.
As part of measure to control speed at which vehicles travel on our highways, the FRSC will from 1st of June 2015 commence enforcement of compulsory use of speed limiting devices in all commercial vehicles nationwide. Thereafter the enforcement would be extended to all other categories of vehicles. As Nigeria aspires to become an economic giant as projected by Vision 20:2020, no responsible government would allow its productive sector to be wasted from seemingly avoidable road carnages caused by reckless driving behavior from excessive speeding.
We therefore enjoin all road users, including passengers to support this initiative, which is aimed at reducing deaths from speed related crashes in Nigeria by over 30 percent.
We appeal to our spiritual fathers to make the Road Safety message a priority in their sermon as road safety is a collective responsibility of all citizens.
While wishing all the brethren a memorable Christmas and safe motoring as we travel to celebrate the New Year with our loved ones, let us remember always to be road safety vanguards by constantly adhering to traffic rules and regulations.
May the Almighty God bless you all.

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