Pedestrian Safety: Rules For Joggers
One of my daily routines to keep fit is a 30-minute to one hour walking or jogging exercise. Every time I embark on this daily exercise, I stumble on some oddities by fellow joggers who by their mien are literate but ignorant of the risk pedestrians face. I know I did a piece on pedestrian safety sometimes last year but I am prompted to do another one for several reasons. The first is that there is the need to properly educate members of the public on the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of jogging and other general safety information for pedestrians’ safety. The second is that increasing pedestrian safety will reduce road traffic fatalities and thus help us in achieving our 2015 strategic goals of reducing road traffic crashes by 20 percent and fatalities by 30 percent.The last is that it is my way of honoring one of our most celebrated writers and mentors who lost his life last year while jogging.
I must confess that since his death, I am yet to come to terms with his death and thus could not muster the courage to do a piece that will require making reference to him due to the circumstance of his death.
The late Dimgba Igwe, as testified by many, was indeed God’s gift to journalism and to Nigeria. Although I never worked under him, I spent my days in the defunct Concord Press admiring the bond between him and his brother from another mother, Mike Awoyinfa, in addition to my addiction to their writings. This piece is not another dirge on him as I am not sure I am competent to craft one, having read well-composed write-ups on him by some of the best hands in the pen business. I just believe that although he is gone, there is the need to rehash the circumstance of his death and provide guide to others to avert such similar tragedy in 2015.
According to media reports, the late veteran journalist and Vice-Chairman of The Sun Newspapers, Dimgba Igwe, was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Saturday, September 6, 2014.
The report stated that it was a Toyota Camry that hit him while jogging. Shortly after the incident, the report stated further, he was taken to a hospital in Okota, Lagos, where he was first treated before the harrowing journey that eventually ended in his tragic death began.
A witness report captures the incident thus; “The ghastly accident happened between 5.45 and 6.00 a.m. The car that knocked him down came from the direction of Okota Roundabout. We were on the left side of the road, close to the median when I just heard kpum, kpum, just two sounds.
“The car knocked him so hard that he fell on the other side of the road, although I wouldn’t know whether he was trying to jump to safety before it happened or it is the car that knocked him down. The hit was so hard that the hubcap of one of the front wheels of the car came off and fell on the road. From the first hospital at Okota, he was moved to Isolo General Hospital (IGH) where after presenting a referral note, they were again referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
“On getting to LASUTH, he was seriously bleeding and we were all pleading that something urgent be done to help him. They wheeled him in and wrote out drugs to buy. The wife ran to the pharmacy but couldn’t get one. So, she sent her driver to go look for it. Another nurse came out that we should buy two pillows, the driver went to get the pillows too. Then they said they needed blood. We went to buy from their blood bank and they gave us a bill of N9,000. With the receipt the guy we met there gave us, we went and paid and came back. On getting back, the medical personnel we met just told us to wait, and we waited for 10 minutes.“
After attending to him, one of the doctors came out and started asking questions, “When did this happen? What time? When did you get to the first hospital?”
The rest is history as our beloved boss finally bade us farewell. He died not because he was involved in a pedestrian-vehicle crash but because of the absence of available medical facilities and attitude required in an emergency case, a case similar to what caused the death of DAGRIN, a yhip-hop musician in his 20’s, some years ago.
Pedestrian injuries and fatalities is a major global problem related to travel and road safety. Here in Nigeria, it is a major road safety issue especially with the absence of appropriate infrastructure such as walkways and pedestrian bridges, except in few cities, including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory where through the partnership with the World Bank, pedestrian bridges had been provided even though there is still the apathy by pedestrians to utilise them, thus causing unnecessary crashes and deaths.
Even developed societies have their fair share of this challenge. For example, in the United States, pedestrian-vehicle crashes are a major problem. In 2003, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that approximately 4,700 pedestrians were killed and another 70,000 injured due to pedestrian-vehicle crashes. The times and days pedestrians are most at risk of injury differ from those when they are most at risk of death. Pedestrian vehicle crashes know no bounds as they occur both in urban and rural areas and in both places where there are no traffic controls and where such exist. They affect both adults and children.
No single factor is completely responsible for the problem of pedestrian-vehicle crashes resulting in injuries and fatalities. A combination of unsafe pedestrian behaviour, vehicle and driver factors, problematic physical environments, and other special conditions all contribute to them.
Pedestrian-vehicle crashes occur when physical environments allow pedestrians to come into contact with moving vehicles.
Source: The Road Bloggers