Following the spate of road crash fatalities resulting from night-time travels, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in a press release on Friday, November 4, reiterated its warning to the general public to desist from night trips due to obvious and inherent dangers associated with such trips.
Making this declaration, the Corps Public Education Officer, Corps Commander Imoh Etuk highlighted numerous factors which negate night-time travels in Nigeria at the moment such as the poor state of roads, inadequate rescue services, fatigue, inadequate road signs/markings and poor vehicle maintenance culture.
Speaking further, Etuk emphasized on the change of light intensity and blur effect of night driving on the vision of drivers which increases the probability of road crashes at night. Under this circumstances; according to him, when light levels are reduced, the pupil of the eyes open up in size to admit more light thus making what the driver sees to become blurred.
Continuing, the FRSC spokesman said “since the human eye takes time to adjust to new levels of light, a driver on night trip suffers temporary vision impairment when moving from bright areas(motor way intersections in the urban centres) to dark areas(rural areas where there is minimal road lights)”.
Commander Etuk also traced another negative impact of night-time driving to the glare from automobile lights, particularly from the rear view mirror which can lead to temporary loss of a driver’s vision, recalling that “at 100 metres/ph, a vehicles moves at 28 metres per second, meaning that the lives of all occupants of such vehicles will be put to serious danger when the driver suffers a temporary loss of sight”.
He also recalled with concern, the recent night-time fatal crash on 18th November 2015 at 12.10am, at Sango Ota, old toll gate end of the Lagos-Abeokuta express way which resulted to the death of 9 persons and leaving others with serious injuries. According to Commander Etuk, “media reports indicate that the crash occurred when a truck loaded with cement, apparently had a brake failure, veered off the its lane and rammed into several other vehicles”
Reacting to measures being initiated by the Corps to curb the trend of night trips in Nigeria, the Corps Public Education Officer expressed the FRSC’ concern over traffic peculiarities associated with the yuletide season and the penchant for night trips among Nigerians during this period and reiterated the Corps’ advise for the motoring public to desist from night travels.
However, he added that since the FRSC does not wish to step on the fundamental human rights of most Nigerians to move freely, it is still instructive to advise the motoring public on the hazards associated with this practice. “This underscores why we embark on robust public awareness campaigns for Nigerians to appreciate the grievious dangers of travelling at night at the moment because of the absence of the proper indices to ensure the safety of those who prefer to travel at night”.
He also frowned at the use of extra lights by drivers of heavy duty vehicles due to its dazzling effect on other drivers, adding that the FRSC operatives have been mandated to prosecute any driver who carries extra light on his vehicle which is violation of the provisions of the National Road Traffic Regulation, 2004.