Monday, April 19, 2010

Making Nigeria Roads Safe!

On my way to work today, I heard on the radio today that the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) will begin to clamp down on motorists with fake drivers license. This warning was issued by the Lagos State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission Mr. Jonas Agwu. This great quest will purge the system and society of drivers with fake driver’s license. About time!

Mr. Agwu further advised anyone applying for a driver’s license or renewal of a driver’s license must be physically present before the driver’s license is issued or renewed. This means very soon, the quality of motorists/drivers will be greatly improved. Well done Mr. Agwu!

The need to purge our roads of half baked drivers cannot be over emphasized! With all due respect to the FRSC, most motorists in Nigeria today do have a valid driver’s license! For those that have, at least 70% or more have their licenses by proxy. That is the license holder was not physically presence before the license was issued! It is that bad. That is why we have a lot of problems on our roads!

Some time ago, our car was hit from behind by a commercial bus. Immediately, the bus driver came out and was ranting and cursing. He claimed there was no damage to our car, so why the fuss! Anyway, Hubby was in a very good mood, so he simply called a Police man and reported the incident. When the bus driver saw that Hubby was not throwing back words, he started begging! Mehn! The change of behavior was very swift! The guy prostrated and said “Daddy, please I am sorry! My conductor did not tell me there was a car beside me. I am sorry.” At this point, I told him it was too late, because the Police have been invited into the matter. When we got to the Police Station, the bus driver was asked to produce his driver’s license and vehicle particulars! Believe it or not, this guy could not presence any of the documents.

So what gave this guy the courage that he can drive on our roads? Who certified him a fit and proper driver for the Nigeria roads? There are a thousand others like him.

This problem is not limited to commercial bus drivers alone. Some private car owners and/or drivers are also affected. For this other category, they get their driver’s license by proxy! That is they do not present themselves for tests before been issued a drivers license! Too bad. Last year, one of my friends showed me a driver’s license issued in her name. We had the following conversation:
Dee!: When did you start driving?
My friend: Aunty Dee!, I am still learning o.
Dee!: So how did you get this?
Friend: Someone got it for me.
Dee!: Without testing you?! I will not enter any car driven by you! How can you join the band wagon to procure a drivers license by proxy? I am not happy with you.
Seeing I was not down with the whole thing, my friend just changed the topic.

When the society is filled with people who are not “qualified” to drive on the roads, you can imagine the high rate of accidents and other avoidable incidents on the roads.

We complain about traffic and rough drivers, most of the time, it is people who are not properly tested that start the problems faced on our roads! The commercial bus drivers boldly refuse to clear off the high ways to pick their passengers. When there are four vehicles on a slow lane, the fifth one, usually a commercial bus or a car driven by an ex-commercial driver, will form a second or third lane. In Lagos, the okada riders (motorcyclists) do not obey traffic rules! They are simply untouchable! There are so many vehicles on the roads that are not “road worthy”, yet they have a road worthiness permit.

Please note that only the FRSC, in collaboration with the state government, has the power and authority to produce driver's license.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Long live Lagos State!
Ekọ ó ni bajé!


aloted said...

hmm interesting..

do they still do driving test in Naija..i think that part is very crucial not just coming in person to get your licence...every motorist should be tested.

Dee! said...

Yes, it is very interesting. I believe with this new wave, the FRSC would start ensuring that ALL motorists are tested before releasing them into the roads!

Hugs and kisses to Princess!

Stay blessed!

Anonymous said...

Well said my sister. In addition to what you have written, majority of the so called motorist do not know that there are rules in driving. For instance, when to use full or dim light when driving at night, the understanding of the various road signs etc. My sister, there are a lot of issues to be addressed. The whole thing is crazy, I wish the FRSC ALL the luck they can get.


driving in wa! Stay safe!

Dee! said...

Yes O SSD! Driving in Lagos na real wa! Have a lovely weekend!

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