If Soludo Must Avert Road Accidents in Awka

By Alexander Johnson Adejoh

The recent road construction exercise currently ongoing in Anambra State by the Governor Chukwuma Soludo Led administration is one that is highly commendable. However, while the people continue to applaud Anambra State governor for the infrastructural development, there are other factors that must be considered, else this good gesture might birth another disaster just waiting to happen.

Anybody acquainted with the Bishop A.K. Obiefuna Road, popularly known as Roban-CAPAD Road way in Nodu, Okpuno, and the and manner motorists now explore their speeding abilities, must be worried.

This worry is what is making some people to call for the erection of speed breakers or humps.

Speed breakers are used for 10–15 mph speed zones. They’re often seen on local streets or connector roads where traffic needs to flow smoothly but where excessive speed will endanger pedestrians. Playgrounds and school zones often use these in traffic management.

A speed breaker creates a gentle rocking sensation in a car passing over it at the posted speed limit. If a car is driving at unsafe speed, the bump will jar the vehicle and its contents, causing discomfort to the occupants and disruption to cargo. These obstacles usually span the lane they are placed in. This way, vehicles are encouraged to pass over them with both wheels, reducing the likelihood of bottoming out.

Speed bumps on the other hand are more aggressive traffic calming options than speed breakers, and so are useful in places where pedestrians and cars share space closely, like parking lots and driveways. A speed bump generally slows traffic to 2–10 mph, giving both people and cars time to react safely to one another. Speed bumps are rarely used on public roads because they require vehicles to come to a near stop to pass over them, and can do damage to cars moving at regular speeds.

However, speed bumps can be two to four inches high, but they have a much shorter travel distance than speed humps. These obstacles are under a vehicle’s tire for less than half of a full wheel rotation, with standard widths between six inches and two feet.

The height to travel-distance ratio creates an abrupt bounce in a vehicle, which can shake both occupants and cargo. Since a speed bump is always much smaller than vehicles passing over it, each axle will cross separately, meaning a car moving at excessive speed will receive two substantial jolts.

Just recently, this reporter was almost knocked down by a motorist who was enjoying the wonderful road work by the Solution Team or was probably trying to test his James Bond skills. This is more worrisome as school children and pedestrians are seen plying that route almost every hour.

Pained by this development, some residents of Okpuno Community and its environs in Nodu, have pleaded with the governor, Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, to help install bumps on their roads, as many residents’ lives are being daily endangered by over-speeding drivers

The residents who spoke to Fides said many drivers and motorcyclists sped with no caution and feared that it could lead to accidents if nothing was done. They disclosed that they were confident that rubber speed bumps when installed would avert possible road accidents.

Speaking on behalf of the residents, one Mr John Uchendu, a civil servant, while calling on the government to do the needful, loudly commended Governor Soludo for the road construction, stating that there was no day the community did not witness what he tagged a near accident scenario.

He disclosed that if nothing was done as a matter of urgency, lives would be lost. He added that the worst hit victims would be children.

When asked what efforts the community had made to remedy the situation, he revealed that the community had taken several steps, including drawing the attention of the state and local government to the development, but that government officials seemed unperturbed by their plight.

Corroborating the residents’ statement, Dr. Daniel Ezeoakfor, who said he could not provide the statistics of accidents caused by over speeding within the area because his hospital was not the only one where victims were brought disclosed that some accident victims had been brought to his facility for attention. He added that just the previous Friday, a keke driver identified as IK, died.

Reacting, a spokesperson to Govenor Soludo told Fides that the governor was doing his best. ‘Road construction simultaneously across the 21 local government areas is no child’s play. The governor is playing his part, communities can also play theirs by simply constructing speed bumps if they see the need but they must first apply to the appropriate ministry in charge,’ he added.