ROAD CRASHES: Some contractors are in the habit of indiscriminately abandoning broken down heavy-duty equipment such as earthmovers and caterpillars, concrete mixers, as well as, boulders around sites of ongoing or completed projects.
These items obstruct traffic, as well as, endanger lives of road users. First-time users or even regular users of such roads are at grave risk of road crashes especially if the roads are poorly lit at night.
Mr. Godfrey Adebiyi, a Lagos-based civil engineer regrets that many have ended their lives abruptly owing to carelessness on the part of reckless contractors, who are guilty of such professional misconduct. Apart from motorists running into these grounded equipment recording fatalities, Adebiyi said a lot of man-hour is also lost when they obstruct traffic.
While calling for prompt removal of such items, he advised that if boulders and heavy-duty equipment must be left where they would impair free human and vehicular movement, reflective road signs should be put in place to warn road users of danger. Alhaji Malik Tajudeen, who ran into a boulder at Toyota Under Bridge, (between Toyota Bus Stop and Charity Bus Stop) along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, early this year, wondered what a boulder was still doing there months after rehabilitation works on the road were completed.
While recalling that three other occupants of his car sustained injuries and spent months recuperating in hospitals and at home, Tajudeen expressed disgust that contractors and even government officials are not mindful of the dangers road users are exposed to until people begin to hold them responsible and make them pay heavily for the damages.
He said: “Repairing my car and treating myself after that accident cost me good money, and I know lives must have been lost as a result of that reckless behaviour. Government and concerned groups should begin to harp on the need for such dangerous materials to be removed wherever they are found on our roads. Toro Olumuyiwa thinks neighbourhood groups should hastily report contractors/companies that recklessly abandon such heavy-duty equipment on roads, whether work is still ongoing, or has been completed in order to stem needless loss of lives.
She said her Community Development Association (CDA), in the Yaba area of Lagos State adopted this approach to get rid of an abandoned caterpillar, which posed serious threat to road users at a street corner where it was left, adding that before help came to them, they had earlier taken steps to warn unsuspecting commuters and motorists of the danger.
Olumuyiwa, who said situations can be very risky during rainy season when visibility is poor, called on appropriate agencies to embark of random road checks to identify locations where such dangerous materials are and remove them or put bold and visible signs to prevent imminent crashes. For Yakubu Ochehe, reflective and bold road signs should be conspicuously placed at locations where such equipment are found, stressing that in most cases, the warning signs are not large enough to make meanings from a distance.