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Mobile Death Traps

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It is sad but true, that we do not take safety and security too seriously as Nigerians, our abysmal attitude to being proactive as a people is indeed worrying. It begs the question, what is a Nigerian life worth?

On my way to the office today, I saw something so appalling, that I am left morose, thinking about the worth of a single Nigerian life. A faulty vehicle, is haphazardly placed on a truck, to be conveyed to God knows where, however, the shocking thing is, this vehicle wasn’t securely fastened, as should be, rather stones were flimsily placed by the tires of the SUV, to keep it in place.

When the truck got into a bend, the SUV, tilted dangerously, in a heart stopping moment, I thought it would fall, crushing pedestrians standing right by it.

 

And I am left to wonder why we never take the issue of safety seriously; why are Nigerian lives taken for granted? Where are the appropriate authorities to negate these hazards? and why must we as a people depend on sheer blind luck to survive?

These are questions that have no answers and those that should be held accountable aren’t proferring any.

A weekend, not  so long ago, there was a tragedy that left five people dead and several seriously injured, a container fell off the bed of the truck it was being conveyed in and landed on a commercial bus, popularly known as danfo , completely demolishing it, with passengers inside.

It was a macabre tale of blood, gore and metal, melding as one.

Several years ago, a similar carnage occurred, as a container haphazardly placed on the bed of a trailer, not properly fastened, keels over a bridge, crushing pedestrians and commuters below.

How much blood must be spilled before appropriate measures are taken to ensure there isn’t a repetition of such carnage?

It would seem that  blind luck is no longer the key to survival as serendipity abandons us, to our own careless devices.

 

 

 

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  1. Taking steps to address the risks associated with load securing is a critical component of our responsibilities, whether as a licence holder, transport manager or driver. The securing of a load must be of primary concern for all road users, whether using a seatbelt to secure our loved ones in the family car, or transporting groceries in Lorries from farm to the local market.
    Incidents caused by objects falling from vehicles is dangerous to all road users. Not only does effective load securing prevent goods from falling onto roads causing danger to other road users, It result in deaths, closure of either a single lane or the full carriageway. On average, it takes considerable time to clear. It is important that load securing systems used should be appropriate for both the loads being carried the vehicles being used.
    Whoever is responsible for loading a vehicle needs to consider other important factors like axle weights and vehicle stability. These are the fundamental requirements in making sure vehicles are safe before starting a journey. There are also specialist companies who can give advice on the right load securing system. One would imagine this lies squarely on the shoulders of the Road Safety Commission…all I see is money collectors on our highways.
    All these Incidents on our roads happen when drivers and operators underestimate how much restraint is needed to keep a load on the vehicle…few days back on Facebook, I saw a huge container that decapitated a lady from the torso. My heart bleeds as I saw people just standing by powerless to assist, just wailing. She was still alive but in a state of shock. What happen to her in the end is a guess.
    I am deeply saddened by the cheap value attached to human life in Nigeria. The driver isn’t the only person responsible for the safety of the vehicle and its load. Everybody in the transport chain should make themselves aware of the rules set out by relevant government agencies such as The Road Safety Commission.
    Risk assessment is a legal requirement that helps to identify issues and take reasonably practicable steps to control the risks…largely ignored by everyone. If these risk assessments are strictly adhere to should help reduce the chances of problems occurring. There should be consequences and process put in place to prosecute offenders. Not just the drivers but also company’s whose goods are being conveyed and all its affiliate. They should be prosecuted for causing the death of employee or member of the public due to negligence on their part.
    Finally, the big question. How will these laws and polices be enforced to yield the expected benefits or results? So, the chaos continues with corruption in high places, the issue of enforcement becomes elusive.

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