- Technology enlisted to cut road deaths in Nigeria
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- Nigeria has the second highest rate of road deaths in the world, behind
Eritrea, yet it is on course to be the only African nation to cut the
number of people killed on the roads by half by 2020.
the target set out by the World Bank, which has launched a global push
to cut road traffic accidents by the end of the decade, reports the
West Africa has some of the most dangerous roads in the world and when coupled with a lack of safety laws, the effect is fatal.
Five countries in the region do not have national laws which make the wearing of seatbelts aboard vehicles mandatory.
In 2008 the Federal Road Safety Commission was set up in Nigeria, which
has become an integral part of the battle to cut road deaths in the
It is based in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, and is
equipped with a large screen which keeps track of 400 patrol cars,
ambulances and volunteers.
Osita Chidoka, Director of the Agency, said: "We have done a lot through technology and database improvements."
Since the system was put in place the number of registered crashes has
decreased by more than half, standing at around 5,000 a year.
There are now on average 12 road deaths a day, which is a third fewer
than before, though many road accidents still go unreported.
Chidoka said: "Overall it's positive, because our ultimate goal is to
bring down deaths. But we need to make more investments in enforcement
and a culture of safety."
Having digital data helps the Agency to look at the numbers as they are rising and establish ways of tackling issues.
One of the major issues which is standing in the way of further progress on road safety in Nigeria is driver behaviour.
Janet Adepegba, Information Technology Director at the Agency, said:
"In Abuja, where the roads are really good, we still see high incidents
"You can put the best driver in the best car on a
terrible road, or a terrible driver and car on the best road, and both
can have the same results."
- Posted by amobi sticoma on 2012-08-15
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