Elements of Road Safety Management
The successes achieved to date, corroborate the fact that Road Safety can only be achieved by design – effective management of all elements that may affect safety on the roads.
- Data & Information.
- Policy and standards.
- Education & Advocacy
- Monitoring & Evaluation
Road Safety Management – Global experience
Since 1896, specific events have occurred that have changed the course of road safety management – globally, regionally and in Nigeria.
Road Safety Management has transitioned from the prevention of collisions (characterized by legislative enforcement over motorised carriage) of the early 1900s through to the mastery of traffic situations (characterized by car and road engineering) that pervaded the mid-1920s to the 1970s.
Road safety management has evolved over the last century with clear paradigm shifts.
Road Safety Management – Nigeria’s experience
Nigeria’s efforts at tackling the challenges of safety on the roads commenced in 1913
with the promulgation of the first transport law – the Highway (Motor Traffic) Ordinance with the main objective of “reducing the incidents of road traffic accidents to the barest minimum” in the Southern Protectorate.
With independence from British rule in 1960 came the establishment of the Traffic Police Unit of the Nigeria Police Force to perform traffic management and control functions.
Current Approach to Road Safety Management
Most recent attempts at managing road safety are encapsulated in the “safe system” approach highlighted in the Accra Declaration of 2007 and subsequently the UN Decade of Action recommendation of 2010.
The Safe System approach to road safety management begins with the acceptance of human error and realization that RTCs cannot be completely avoided although most are preventable. It regards the road user as the weakest link in the transport chain, unpredictable and capable of error in spite of his level of education and access to information.
The goal of the safe system is to ensure that when crashes occur, they do not result in serious human injury or death. This is sought to be achieved by focusing on keeping the impact energies that can produce either death or serious injury below the threshold.
Summary of the safe systems’ cornerstones.
- Safe Roads & Mobility
- Safe Road Users
- Safe Vehicles
- Emergency Response
Need for the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy
Nigeria has experienced recent economic growth, especially since the introduction of economic reforms in 2008. With a GDP per capita of $1,517 and nominal GDP of $257 billion, the country in 2012 ranked 36th among the 190 IMF member countries. However, visible development of other modes of transportation is yet to be seen.
In 2011, Nigeria was included as the only sub-Saharan African country on the “3G” (Global Growth Generator) list, an indication of the potential and capacity for growth, but current infrastructure investments do not reflect the anticipated growth in population and economic activity. Expected consequences of heightened pressure on the road network will include additional challenges to road safety
As at 2012, about 50% of total RTCs and fatalities were recorded in the FCT, Kogi, Nassarawa (North Central), Kaduna (North West), Ogun (South West) and Edo (South South). The higher incidents of RTCs in these zones are due mainly to the significantly higher traffic volumes along the interstate routes within the regions, coupled with bad road conditions and road user behaviour.
– Complied by SRC Sani Yusuf