Tuesday the 15 August, 2023, would remain memorable to me for several reasons. The first reason is that it was the first time since moving from the Zonal Command to the National Headquarters that I was privileged to give a talk on road safety. Secondly, my audience was a unique one as it was an assembly of professional managers who by their ages as parents and managers of men and resources have a better grasp of the intrinsic value of human life.
Thirdly, it afforded me an opportunity to do what I love doing most; impacting responsible driving behavior tit bits toward promoting a safer environment. Lastly, it gave me a rare plank to breathe life into my write-up on ‘unforgiving road’, published over the weekend. To sum up my excitement, almost everyone who attended pledged a rebirth in their driving to promote safe driving behavior.
Today I have chosen to rehash the piece highlighting the ‘forgiven road’ concept again while contrasting the same against the ‘unforgiving road’ for the benefit of those who missed the publication. I am doing this because the concept is at the core of a safe system approach. The underlying logic is that human errors are inevitable and should be addressed by the design of all the variable safety elements.
Those who read through last week will recall that I examined the concept of a safe system approach which promotes the need for forgiving roads. As I said earlier, the concept of a forgiving road is central to the safe system approach which acknowledges human inadequacies and vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are compounded within our clime by arrogance, pride, ego, and the mentality of, ‘Do you who I am’.
What the concept preaches is that humans should be cut some slack as they will commit all kinds of infractions ranging from excessive speeding to distracted driving among others. In the case of Nigeria, there are fifty-three listed traffic violations contained in the FRSC Notice of Offence Sheet. They include speed violations, use of phones while driving as well as seat belt/child safety belt violations just to mention a few.
This list is inexhaustible as it does not contain some other infractions contained in the National Road Traffic Regulations. Yet the average road user, including men of piety, rarely keeps up with the requirement for safe and responsible driving required to curb rising fatalities as well as various degrees of injuries.