Wednesday, 3 August 2016

NIGERIA IN-SEARCH OF ROAD SIGN STANDARD BY OLUSEGUN ARIYO

                                                                                      

The clamor for road safety management by federal road safety agency on safer road and fuller live cannot be complete without the use of road sign furniture on our existing road in other for its attainability. The present situation has never leave us in doubt of its existing roads situation that have been without due provision of road sign furniture for safety standard. The existing road network today in Nigerian is seriously in demand of such signs, even those that are in existence are not put in a place of demand, whilst some are gradually getting to extinction due to lack of maintenance culture, thereby making it more problematic in ensuring standard and that which poses challenges for pedestrian and vehicular movement .

Expectedly, road signs should be informative, regulative and statutory. From the past to the present day, there hasn’t being any comprehensive policy geared towards the development and measures for safety road sign furniture in Nigeria, the implication of this is that many animal and human resources has been falling victim of road accidents essentially in the rural and urban roads, as a result of lack of road sign furniture development policy and standard. 

The question on the lips of many Nigerians is what does this portend for the future? The answer remains a pressing issue, which needs an urgent answer if indeed our citizen’s lives must be saved from the hands of the unknown. Today, many Nigerian road users do not have a good understanding of the few existing road sign furniture and their function, This, however is making it more challenging to our roads  resulting to high level of accident where, in most cases commercial road users are always adamant of its regulation due to over-zealousness that usually result  into  untimely deaths. Most of the road users are not informed or do not see the road sign as a guide that must directs there movements from various origin to destination.

 The global concern for road safety date back from the inception of automotive transport as at 1919 recorded average of 5,000,00 people leading to death via  automobile accident with about 75 percent of it ( 350,000 people) occurring in the developing world. According to the report of World Bank on road safety problem in third world in 2015, it does stipulate that by 2016 the figure has increased with more death tolls. With this, Nigerians is no exception. According to the federal road safety analysis showing on road traffic accident in Nigerian from 1998 to 2014 it indicate that 1, 2705 are numbers of accident, fatality 3,686 person killed 6,521 person injured 20,677. 

Similarly, report  on road accident report on factor in road accident causation, noted that Nigeria ranked highest in the world as a country with greatest accident statistics when researched  according to its indices, nothing threaten human survival like the road accident. Today, one of the significant future that need to be effected in ameliorating this persisting problem has not be given due attention by the existing institutional fame work saddled with such responsibility it deserved in ensuring standard, this is probably  because they do not see the importance of road sign furniture as a means of attaining standard and securing fuller live and road attainability. It is in no doubt that Nigeria as a nation is without
this tools for saving lives. Consequently, formidable road safety policy with various edit, acts and laws enacted in the country were centered on road operation even most are not effective. It is amazing that many road users turned themselves into terror on the road just because they use vehicular mechanism or they drive large vehicle, articulated lorries and luxurious buses” such people forget that they risk not only their own live but the live of passengers, the aim of driving is not to scare anyone on the road rather, to adhere strictly to the road sign standard that is informative and regulative. It is also worthy of mention that motorcyclist often too become intoxicated with the power of their machine raving in and out of traffic regulation at dangerous speed. Aggression and arrogance however breed aggression, a combination that is sure to end in fatal accident. 


Road sign furniture has many function that possess the need for road users to adhere strictly to, some of which are pedestrian crossing, Stop, Traffic signal ahead, children way, cattle crossing, double bend ahead, traffic merge from the left and right, dual carriageway prohibition packing and round about that expresses the need for it to be statutory this standard will guide against indiscriminate use of this furniture sign, but due to the present precarious situation on Nigeria road network where standard is lacking and  some of  the existence of this development are in most pathetic situation, it has made the road user to speed over-zealously on the road with different perception and others.

 Also, road sign is meant to guide against any unforeseen circumstance that will prevent causalities. It is observed that many road network in the country do not have good location pattern of where the road sign should be placed in other for standardization of where the demand are needed for functional efficiency. This setback can be viewed from the area of policy formulation, institutional frame work and standard to this infrastructure however, Nigeria as a nation, can address this challenges through involving sustainable policy on federal safety and vehicle inspections officers who are in one way or the order involved in road traffic regeneration, the government at all level is  therefore advised to enforce laws that guarantee standard that is enforceable on those  road furniture signs  so that the road users will statutorily move with consciousness of standard of  its road sign in every urban and rural road network in the  federation. Road user’s education is also a needed tonic where passengers, pedestrian and driver’s skill behavior will be improved.

A better performance of road safety effort in ensuring standard remains the best option for sustainable development although, there situation is linked to the fact that the appropriate attention is not giving to the persistent needs of this important sign to the appropriate agency. This remains the change we need, hence the need to add voice to hope.

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