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Long vehicles kill Nigerians daily

Somebody somewhere somehow now, should help Nigerians that use the road as either transporters, pedestrains, street traders or passengers.The carnage on Nigerian roads has increased so much that Nigerians are bothered about their safety and what the chances of getting to their destinations is while on the road.

Between August 15 and September 6, 2010, 55 people have been killed(some beheaded in the process), 15 people burnt beyond recognition and 18 persons have been seriously injured in three road traffic accidents caused by long vehicles in Nigeria.
This carnage continued five days after the Federal Road Safety Corps( the lead agency working on road safety management in Nigeria ) publicly announced that road traffic accident rate has dropped by 51 percent in the first half of the year.

Probably that statistic does not include the road crashes that involve the long vehicles, the big fish.The headlines on news programmes are almost incomplete without traffic news on road crashes and the fatalities.

It is always a story of failed breaks, over speeding and illegal or legal police check points.Whatever the reason may be, the fact is that any accident that involve long vehicles claims as many as fifty to one hundred lives at once , children inclusive.Most times, the long vehicles explode and cause great inferno that claims innocent road users lives, the victims are burned beyond identification. Nigerians call such days, black days .Days when many homes in the country would be thrown into mourning seasons.

As part of TOCSS Foundation awareness campaign on road safety , we promote the periodic vehicle maintainance , speed control system and ban of uniform personnels checkpoints along busy road. In addition, we are strongly advocating for the use of retroreflective tapes on the rear part of the long vehicles because this would ensure that they are seen whenever they are moving or parked/stopped on the road.

The most recent road crash that involved a long vehicle before I travelled out of the country on the 8th of September , 2010 was a lorry that was reportedly parked on the Third Mainland bridge in Lagos State,where a driver in a saloon car ran into it , killing all the passengers in the car.With the retroreflective tape, which was marketed and sold by the Federal Road Safety Corps some four years back but abandoned, the approaching vehicle would have seen the stopped lorry and avoided it.

Lastly, I want to beg that the long vehicle drivers should be made to go through a more comprehensive driving course because when their vehicles cause accidents the death toll is always on the high side .

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