Many motorists are guilty of lane indiscipline, a major cause of highway gridlock that is costing the nation a huge loss, the Founder, Safety Beyond Borders, Mr. Patrick Adenusi, has said.
For instance, he said about 100,000 vehicles were daily being trapped in avoidable gridlock on the Lekki-Epe Expressway due to lane indiscipline, resulting in excessive fuel consumption put at N2bn monthly.
Adenusi gave this position at a seminar in Lagos on ‘The neglected aspect of road safety’ organised by Naja in conjunction with Ford Motor Company.
“Each affected vehicle is made to consume about N1,000 of additional fuel, amounting to N100m daily and N500m weekly and N2bn monthly,” he said.
According to the road safety campaigner, converting a two-lane road to three or three-lane road to four or six lanes is lane indiscipline.
Adenusi said, “There should be at least one metre (space) in-between two vehicles in traffic. When your vehicle’s side mirror touches the body or side mirror of the vehicle beside your car in traffic, then you are too close. No one is safe in the gridlock we have created.”
He gave other costs of lane indiscipline as waste of several man-hours, economic waste through building of physical barriers by government to demarcate roads; road accidents leading to death and vehicle loss/damage as well as increase in public transport fares.
“Other costs are increase in wear and tear on vehicles; emergency services vehicles are caught in the same traffic net, which increases their response time; increase in the problem of environmental pollution and pollution-induced sicknesses,” he said.
Adenusi, who identified fatigue as a major cause of road accident, noted that driving while tired was as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to him, having about 17 hours without sleep is like having a 0.05 Blood Alcohol Concentration, adding that a man’s body and brain have a biological clock (circadian rhythm) that influences how alert or drowsy a man can be at certain times of the day.
He urged the legislative arm of government “to enact and apply effective, proportionate and deterrent legal responses to traffic law violations that result in death and injury.”
The road safety campaigner also canvassed coalition building and multi-sectoral cooperation in order to reduce the nastion’s road crashes and mitigate the devastating effects.
He added, “There is a need to raise awareness on how to adopt global standards for vehicle safety, enforcement, licensing and driver training. We must stress the need to improve post-crash response and establish more effective emergency services to minimise road trauma and death.”