Recently I travelled to Delta State after receiving the call late. So I ended up getting there around 8pm.
|Will you believe that the headlights are on on this car on the highway?|
I didn’t drive because I was going to pick up a car back to Lagos. So I boarded a bus from Lagos going to Warri in Delta State. I disembarked at Benin and boarded a cab going to Onitsha, Anambra State.
It was still daylight when I got into the cab which was looking ok by our regular Nigerian standards.
We didn’t get enough passengers so ended up leaving Iyaro/e Park around 6.15pm.
|When it gets brighter.|
Soon we exited Benin City and got onto the lonely stretch of the expressway as daylight turned to pitch darkness and the driver turned on his headlights.
Lo and behold, they were no better than one driving with candlelights as headlights as shown by the pictures attached herein.
All tiredness and sleepiness vanished from my eyes as I realized the enormity of the situation. By this time I, couldn’t disembark because I won’t get a vehicle at that stretch of the road and knowing the danger I might face standing there for another vehicle. So the best I could do was be awake and ‘drive’ with him.
|When it got brightest. Meanwhile the car with the rear lights overtook us.|
I calmly asked the man if this was how he drives the car and he felt I was disturbing him as he ignored me.
I felt great annoyance within me as this man like many other operators of commercial vehicles do not have any atom of consideration for their lives, that of other road users, and more importantly, that of their passengers.
How could someone drive with virtually no headlights on our highways that are perpetually in pitch darkness and expect to drive safely?
The very basic tenet of safe road usage is ‘see and be seen’. This means that all the lights on a car should work well so that the driver can see his direction, and indicate his actions well while being visible also to other road users. But whereby one can’t see or be seen, it becomes a simple case of a catastrophe waiting to happen.
With this man’s poor lights, how can he see a broken down vehicle, armed robbers, potholes, and other road obstructions on time to make informed decisions? Or even counter glare from the lights from other cars?
No he wouldn’t!
He would not do the basic thing by fixing his lights and other things wrong with the car and I’m sure he had some religious stickers somewhere on the car proclaiming victory over devil and safety yet won’t do his bit so that our Good Lord would do his.
This situation also revealed that our traffic regulating and enforcement agencies have a lot of work to do in terms of public enlightenment, regulations and enforcement for the general populace. They need to structure a more robust vehicle testing and certification process for cars plying our roads especially commercial vehicles, while also factoring in lights as a major item to be tested.
It also behooves the governments to always provide lighting on our roads whether intra or inter States.
Equally, people should desist from vandalizing these road furniture where provided so that government won’t get discouraged from doing their bit.
Individuals should actually not wait for the government to ‘flog’ or sanction them before they do the right things. It is important to state here that most of the parts on a car important to road safety are mostly not the most expensive rather most people would never give them their due priority but would spend much more on the aesthetics of the car forgetting that aesthetics would not save them from getting involved in road incidents.
My relief when we got to Asaba is better imagined that explained. I was happy and grateful to God that I got out of that car in good condition.
Just let’s assume something terrible happened, people including the driver would have blamed the devil, witches and one old woman in the village forgetting that the real culprit if the driver who failed to do the very simple thing he would have done to avert such an avoidable incident.
I really look forward to when our roads will become safe for all.