The city of Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is considered different and special when compared with other cities in the country because of its status as the seat of power where the three arms of government are located. It is also one of the cities with good road network and considering the volume of traffic in the city, the roads are designed such a way that the lanes are wide to ensure smooth vehicular movement.
The wide network of roads in the city have become a temptation for motorists to overspeed, a situation which had caused a lot of road crashes resulting in the loss of many lives. In order to check the reckless speed of motorists in the city, traffic wardens were deployed to some areas in the city with large volume of traffic while in other major junctions, traffic lights are provided by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to control the flow of traffic in the city.
However, despite the provision of traffic lights, the impatience and indiscipline of some motorist still make them to beat the traffic lights, sometimes resulting in fatal accidents and even severe damage to the poles of the traffic lights.
The recent road crash involving the convoy of former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio and United States Embassy’s vehicle at the Bolingo junction in Abuja is a reference point. The former governor’s vehicle was said to have beaten the traffic light and in the process collided with the Embassy’s vehicle.
Some residents of Abuja, however, told Inside FCT that the frequent road crashes in Abuja was not because of the wide and smooth roads but because of impatience on the part of motorists driving in the city. For John Akinlade, “the influx of people from other states of the country to Abuja has increased the volume of traffic in the city and a lot of people are on the road but most motorists are impatient resulting in road crashes”
He maintained that if motorists are more careful, many road crashes in the city would be prevented, adding that even on some roads where there are bumps to reduce speed, road crashes still occur frequently. Speaking in the same vein, another resident who simply identified herself as Maryam said some motorists don’t even know the rules of driving and therefore constitute danger to others on the road
According to her, some of them don’t have regard for other road users as well as the traffic lights installed to ensure endure discipline and smooth control of traffic It would be recalled that during the twilight of the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the then Minister of FCT, Bala Mohammed, executed contract for the installation of 74 traffic lights in strategic areas of the city of Abuja and some satellite towns.
By Rotimi Fadeyi