The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday called for collaboration of Nigerians in ensuring compliance to road safety rules and reducing carnage on the nation’s highways.
Fashola made the call at a hybrid symposium with the theme “Driving and the Nigerian in You, Sharing the Responsibility of Safety and Security’’ organised by Newstrail, an online blog in Lagos.
The Minister, who joined virtually, said lasting solutions to reckless driving and other traffic offences could be achieved when citizens insist on sanity on the roads.
He recalled an incident when he was governor of Lagos State, where a particular citizen refused to allow a traffic offender driving against traffic have his way by insisting the offender returned to his lane.
Fashola shared slides of roads and under bridges in Lagos obstructed by trading activities, indiscriminate parking, warehousing and other infractions causing gridlock and damage to infrastructure.
The minister displayed photographs of roads and bridges destroyed in Lagos and other parts of the country because some people did business at the cost of public infrastructure.
He said accidents were human-created problems that obedience to simple issues of law and order on the roads would reduce.
Fashola reeled out statistics from a 2021 report on the major causes of road crashes and the constant decimal of the causative factors being humans.
He said 87 per cet of accidents on Nigerian roads would be removed if the major items of human factor were tackled, noting that, machine and traffic laws must be obeyed.
He said failure of planning laws, illegal street trading, indiscriminate parking, overloading, non-compliance to business laws, lack of enforcement, were some infractions that must be checked by states.
Fashola said unregistered vehicles should not be allowed on the roads, no matter the class or status of the road user, to avoid criminals exploiting such opportunities for criminality.
“We cannot have big men drive vehicles that are not registered,’’ he said.
He said the influx of motorcycles and tricycles on the nation’s highways was causing havoc.
Fashola was unhappy with wilful damage to public infrastructure by vandals who steal road furniture.
The minister warned against deliberate damage to roads through various forms of abuse.
He said manhole covers, guard rails and kilometre posts installed by the Buhari administration recently were being stolen in various parts of the country.
The Lagos Sector Commander of the Federal Roads Safety Corps, Mr Olusegun Ogungbemide, who was represented at the event, stressed the need for sanity on the roads.
“The moment we deal with the issue of road safety, then sanity would be restored,’’ he said.
Other traffic stakeholders at the programme took turns to profer solutions at the event organised by Mrs Adetola Kayode, popular broadcaster and founder of Newstrail