By Harriman Oyofo:


Driving carefullyRoad traffic collisions kill thousands of people in this country each year, not to mention the accompanying losses in property damage.

It is estimated that in about 80% of the occurrences human error is the principal cause. That is to say that as many as eighty percent of those collisions could have been prevented if the drivers involved had acted differently at the material time.

Drivers can only prevent collisions if they know what to do to respond correctly in time to collision-enforcing conditions while out there on the road. Acting correctly in time comes from a background of proper training and constant practice. Any driver not properly schooled in the art of safe driving is a problem to him/herself as well as to others because it is practically impossible to give what you do not have.

According to local authorities, most drivers plying our roads lack basic safe driving skills having not gone through proper driver training and education programmes prior to being certified as fit to safely operate motorized vehicles on public roads, streets and highways. If so, it paints a truly worrisome picture for the local road user as far road safety is concerned.

Driving is generally hazardous but against such a backdrop, it becomes something of an extreme challenge to stay collision-free because the odds are simply enormous. Imagine facing an army of poorly trained, poorly educated drivers at each turn, at every intersection, every traffic lights stop and see what it means for your comfort and margin of safety. It can’t be much and it isn’t much. It’s probably more sensible to say that you’re on your own because in reality, it’s not what you do or do not do only that can get you into trouble. The odds are that your trouble will most likely come from what the other driver does or does not do. Therein lies the problem.

Coping in traffic populated by drivers with less than adequate knowledge of the provisions of the Highway Code, road signs and markings, vehicle performance limitations, etc. is truly a hard nut to crack, to say the least. Couple that with lack of skills to safely adjust to road, weather, light, driver, traffic and vehicle conditions then you may begin to sense the size of mountain safe motoring is to climb in our local environment. But climb that mountain we must, individually to stay safe on the road.

People must be made to understand that driving and drinking do not mix. So do drug and other substance use/abuse not mix well with safe driving. Driver education/training does not end with passing a driver’s test and becoming a “proud” possessor of a driver’s licence, it continues all your days of driving.

Continuous improvement is a philosophy with road traffic safety in mind because without it, the driver is a sitting duck. It takes discipline, training and good old common sense to know that using the phone while driving for instance, is a NO GO AREA for the safety conscious driver.

And you know what? So also is eating, drinking, etc.

Harriman Isa Oyofo

PS: Watch this space for Mobile telephone use and road safety




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