Despite warnings to motorists and commuter bus drivers by the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, to drive cautiously and observe traffic rules in thisÂ festive season, we still have some road users driving recklessly and causing accidents on the roads.
Hardly does a day passes in these â€˜emberâ€™ months (September to December) without one or two accidents being reported.
On the first day of December, about 14 people lost their lives along the Lagos-Ibadan expressroad when a truck rammed into an inter-state commuter bus goingÂ to Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. While some blamed the accident on overspeeding by the truck driver, others blamed it on an illegal checkpoint mounted on the roadÂ by policemen.
As if this was not enough, about 15 people lost their lives the following day in a carnage which resulted from the carelessness of an oil tanker driver whichÂ overturned on the Lagos-Badagry expressway near Alakija Bus Stop. The accident resulted in a huge inferno which led to the roasting of commuters in theirÂ vehicles.
Apart from these instances, ghastly accidents resulting in the death of commuters are reported almost daily along the major highways in the country. TheseÂ accidents still occur despite efforts by officials of FRSC to reduce the incidents at this period. Just yesterday, a commuter bus nearly plunge into theÂ Lagos Lagoon on the Third Mainland bridge. Two commuters in the bus were, however, not so lucky as they were flung into the lagoon when the bus hit theÂ railings. One of them was later brought out dead by divers.
Many able-bodied Nigerians that could have contributed to the prosperity of the country have died as a result of needless accidents on our roads caused byÂ insensitivity of drivers. There is need to put a halt to these.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of driving safely in this festive season.Â Too many lives have been lost already and there is the need to preventÂ further loss of lives.
â€˜Emberâ€™ months have been described by the FRSC as a period when there is an increase in the movement of goods and people from one place to another. PeopleÂ are moving from one place to the other either to celebrate the festivals which fall within the period when people visit their families or reunite with theirÂ loved ones.
We are joining the FRSC to appeal to motorists and commuter bus drivers to drive with caution and obey traffic rules. They should avoid overspeeding andÂ ensure that they check their vehicles before travelling. As they say, life has no duplicate and the expressways are not race tracks. Drivers should not drinkÂ and drive or make or receive phone calls while driving. These have been identified as some of the causes of accidents on our roads.
There is also the need for drivers to be aware that the majority of of our roads are in deplorable conditions and any slight mistate could result in ghastlyÂ accidents.
Inter-state commuter bus drivers should, as much as possible, avoid night travelling,Â overloading and overspeeding.
We are also appealing to the government to regulate the movement of tanker drivers on the highways. A specific period of the day can be set aside for theirÂ movement. Stakeholders can also organise enlightenment programmes for them to sensitise them on the need to drive with caution on the roads. They shouldÂ learn to obey traffic rules and regulations.
We also want to implore the government to deploy more traffic officials and policemen to the roads to check overspeeding and drunkenness by drivers.
Like the officials of FRSC have continuously emphasised, there are no devils on the road, rather it is the recklesness of drivers that kills.
Life is precious and everything should be done to preserve it. As the year is coming to an end, we are calling on road users to exercise caution and driveÂ safely.