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Reducing Road Traffic Crashes in Nigeria – The Way Forward by Stephen Dieseruvwe

November 17, 2014

From the table below, whilst the estimated traffic deaths per 100,000 population is as low as 3.0 in Sweden and 3.7 in United Kingdom, it is 33.7 in Nigeria. This is unacceptable and we must definitely be doing something wrong. The way forward is to study why the road traffic deaths are very low in the countries with low fatality rates, and find ways to adopting and localising their success stories in Nigeria. Whilst other countries adopt a stringent driving instructors and driver educators training and certification; driver training; and driver testing as a way of tackling road traffic crashes, in Nigeria, we are more concerned with enforcement as the main approach to reducing road traffic crashes. This policy has not worked and there must be a rethink. Let there be a collaborative approach, as against one agency being saddled with this enormous responsibility of reducing road traffic crashes. The question to ask is, HOW DO YOU ENFORCE WHAT HAS NOT BEEN TAUGHT? This where keeping a register of approved and certified driving instructors and drive educators becomes paramount. Suggested approach and way forward are:

1. Creation of an Executive Agency (Driving Standards and Implementation Agency – DSIA), to be responsible for:
(a) Maintaining a register of Driving Instructors and Driver Educators.
(b) Providing the curriculum for the training of Driving Instructors and Driver Educators.
(c) Running the qualifying examinations for entry into the register of Driving Instructors and Driver Educators.
(d) Conducting the theoretical and practical driving tests for learner drivers in all categories of vehicles, with the practical aspect of the test being conducted in collaboration with VIOs, using designated test routes approach.

2. Federal Road Safety Commission – To be the driver and vehicle licencing agency, with the issuance of licence based on the driving test pass information provided by the Driving Standards and Implementation Agency.

3. Nigeria Police – To be the main enforcement agency, but the stopping of drivers should be as a result of the violation of a traffic rule, as against the indiscriminate stopping of drivers/riders.

4. Driving Instructors and Driver Educators – To carry out the continuous training of drivers and retraining of traffic rules violators, general continuous professional development for professional drivers.

The above is a collaborative approach, with the principle of ‘division of labour’ brought to bear in making our roads safer and to help reduce road traffic crashes in Nigeria to an acceptable level. and

Road Traffic Deaths By Country 2013043

FRSC - Accident Scene

Road Accidents - Leading Causes Of Death 2004 and 2030-WHO


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