Mr Ufuoma Ubiebor, is a Management Consultant, writes from Delta State.
In recent times, victims of motorbikes and tricycles accidents have been on the increase in the state, hence more emergency patients are being rushed to health centers and hospitals on a daily basis across the state. This frequent occurrences is as a result of high speed, usage of wrong routes by riders and poor implementation of standards by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the state.
This backdrop has led to more loss of lives or leaves its victims with severe damages whereby some persons can no longer walk nor function well in life. As known, motorbike and tricycle are not good means of transportation due to their exposed designs and built; but due to poor standards in our country and present economic trend; with rapid increase in population, deficit in commercial shuttles in urban and rural areas and increase in the number of unemployed persons, most people have adopted this means since it is the only means of transportation available in their local domain —— whilst some of the unemployed persons ride it and depend on it as a daily source of livelihood.
There is urgent need for the various stakeholders —– the State Ministry of Transportation, Federal Road Safety Corps, Vehicle Inspection Officers and National Union of Road Transport Workers to have a stakeholder engagement and urgently put a lasting solution in place, so as to mitigate the risk and save lives of citizens. However, there are several measures that could be taken to alleviate this occurrences:
Firstly, it is for the state government to make sure that the various stakeholders synergize more in their work processes and also exercise their fundamental duties to the maximum. Furthermore, the state government should properly implement the registration of commercial motorbikes with number plates and riding permit in the state; because what is seen in recent times, is people buying motorbikes and putting them on the roads without registration and riding permits; as this would assist in having a comprehensive data base of users in the state and also assist in monitoring their usage by the Federal Road Safety Corps and Vehicle Inspection Officers across the state.
The riding permit which has its advantages would assist the state government and users in cases of emergency —— in a situation whereby there is an accident and the victim is in an unconscious state, if he/she has a riding permit at the instance, the emergency response team would be able to reach his next of kin whose number would be on the riding permit —— in a situation whereby the accident is fatal and the victim needs blood to save his/her life, this would assist a medical personnel to request the exact blood type from a blood bank within a short time since he /she already knows the blood group of the victim; because the blood group would be stated on the riding permit as well.
The aforesaid would not only help the patient and state government in saving lives but would also help the state government generate more revenues through the issuance of number plates and riding permit and also it would create opportunities for employment because more manpower would be needed to handle the registration process of newly purchased motorbikes and renewal including issuance of riding permit.
Secondly, a riding test should be conducted in conformance with the Federal Road Safety standards before the issuance of a riding permit and users should be up to 18 years of age, mentally stable, and with good eyesight or the alternative.
Thirdly, the Federal Road Safety Corps should set a speed limit for motorbikes/tricycles ensuring they have a functional real time speedometer to enable them adhere to the set speed limit and inspections should be done by the vehicle inspection officers periodically on motorbikes and tricycles ensuring their road worthiness are up to date.
Fourthly, a permanent ban should be placed on motorbikes and tricycle on the usage of Trunk A and Trunk B roads across the state as they are highways and major roads in towns. They should only be allowed to move on Trunk C roads —– connecting roads to the major roads in towns and highways with the set speed limit by the Federal Road Safety Corps.