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Indiscriminate use of siren in non emergency situations on African roads
  1. C C Ojugbana*,
  2. O David,
  3. I G Ikediashi,
  4. O Christopher
  1. Correspondence PATVORA Initiative, No 24 Ojugbana Drive, Ezenei Avenue, P.O. Box 505, Asaba, Delta state, Nigeria

Abstract

On Nigeria roads, most top government officials use siren fitted vehicles (SFV). Recorded incidents of Road Traffic Injuries (RTI) associated with SFV are alarming.

Objective of Study To investigate the proposed restriction of SFV by the Nigerian Legislature and provide suggestions that may reduce speed related RTI.

Method A study was conducted on the Legislative bill on SFV and Observation was carried for 2 weeks on four road safety check points of the busy Lokoja-Abuja highway, a stretch of about 138 km.

Analysis The Legislative bill restricts SFV to emergency services, the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker House of Representative, Chief Justice, State Governors and their Deputies. Study revealed four SFV related road crashes and 16 near miss incidents. At the four check points observed, no SFV was stopped for violating any traffic offence despite their high speed movements and illegal tinting of their wind screen. Road safety officers exhibited a lack of capacity to regulate the reckless drivers of SFVs.

Conclusion Traffic regulations are grossly abused by over 95% of SFVs thus resulting to recorded road fatalities and huge potential of causing RTIs. The proposed Nigerian law on restricting use of siren to a category of citizens will be an ineffective road safety measure and it is akin to asking African leaders not to lead by example. Siren use by non emergency vehicles should be banned absolutely.

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