31 December 2012

Nigeria: Nema Demands Stiffer Penalty for Reckless Driving

Lagos — The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for stiffer measures against reckless road users, especially tanker drivers, who constitute major causes of road crashes leading to the deaths of many and rendering many others disabled.

South- West Zonal Coordinator for the agency Iyiola Akande said the recklessness of road users especially tanker drivers is a flagrant disobedience to extant traffic codes and regulations in the country.

Akande was reacting to the incessant reports of road crashes, especially those caused by tanker drivers that kept coming during this festive period.

A statement by his Information Officer Ibrahim Farinloye said high speed has been identified as a key risk factor in road traffic injuries, influencing both the risk of road traffic crashes as well as the severity of the injuries that result from crashes.

Akande said road crashes create enormous social costs for individuals, families and society and the subsequent injuries place a heavy burden on health services and economies.

He said the federal government has been doing its best in the repairs and rehabilitation of the major highways to reduce the incidence of road crashes.

"The repairs are an essential impetus for safer roads as part of the United Nations requirements for drastic reduction of crashes and injuries resulting from road crashes" he added.

He said, "According to Section 15 of the Highway Code, it is an offence for a large and slow-moving vehicle to allow smaller or fast-moving vehicles queue behind it but there is no driver that is complying with this very important provision.

"NEMA had severally met with leadership of the various associations of tanker drivers, highlighting the observations and excesses of their members and they promised to enlighten their members on the need to obey traffic rules.

"Henceforth, we would ensure that this rule is strictly enforced without minding whose ox is gored after the appraisal of efforts and activities of all the related agencies that have mandate to enforce traffic rules."

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