Road Traffic Crashes (RTC) is unarguably one menace that we all have to be concerned because yearly, thousands are sent to their early graves by unrepentant reckless drivers.
Road transport being a major means of movement in Nigeria, and with the country’s about 200,000 kilometers motorable roads moving some 11 million vehicles, the issue of safety on our roads cannot be swept under the carpet.
Recent RTC in some parts of the country is not a welcome development. The most recent being an alleged drunk driver whose actin led to the death of two persons in Lekki.
According to media reports, at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos State, a driver of a Lexus sport utility vehicle, Gbeminiyi Odeniyi, alleged to be drunk, rammed into a commercial bus.
While two persons died on the spot, two others reportedly died at the Lagos Island General Hospital, Marina, where they were taken to for treatment. A total of 16 others, which included passengers of the commercial bus and Odeniyi, were severely injured.
This is coming shortly after a driver in the Kogi State governor’s convoy, Danladi Baba, who caused the death of a former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Festus Iyayi, in November 2013, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for reckless driving and causing Iyayi’s death.
Alhassan Husaini of the Lokoja Chief Magistrates’ Court II handed down the judgment on the allegation of “causing death by dangerous and reckless driving” levelled against the driver.
He found him guilty of the offence and thereby convicted him. Husaini said that the penal clause under Section 5 of the Federal Highway Act CAP F. 13 of 2004, being the mandatory position, coupled with the severity of the offence, tied the hands of the court.
“I have no option than to sentence you, Danladi Baba, to seven years’ imprisonment without an option of fine,” the Chief Magistrate ruled.
Reckless driving on our roads seems to defy all checks by law enforcement agencies. There is a strong need for our drivers to undergo serious re-orientation on safe driving.
Though the government has improved the process involved in obtaining a driver’s licence, the attitude of many drivers on the roads is still far from desired. Some of these offensive actions include drunk driving, phone driving, reckless convey driving, over-speeding among others.
Drivers, both commercial and personal should review their actions on the roads and contribute their quota in making our roads safer.