By Kate Henshaw
Driving to and fro from my different locations for the past one week and I pondered why some people who drive( be it drivers or the car owner) behave like mad people who have no idea of what it takes to be on the road.
There are clear markings and signs on the roads which are totally ignored . Do they not know that these signs are there for a reason? One of such signs is the zebra crossing. Woe betide you if you as a pedestrian think that the zebra crossing is meant for you, oh no! Definitely not! It is just there for show and unless you are given a chance to walk on it, kindly wait by the side walk till at least the traffic light indicates red and you are safe to go across the road.
Driving towards the toll gates on the Lekki -Epe expressway, there are lanes marked out as you approach them but it is surprising to still see some cars before you get to the barrier trying to squeeze in ahead of you when they could have queued behind. Smarty pants who feel that you are the fool for driving properly. Or is it the car that comes across all the way from the left lane into the extreme right lane and just nips in before you into the barrier!
What are the rules with regards to the roundabout? Surely the car already in the roundabout has the right of way and the oncoming car on the right should give way, not so? Oh! but not in Lagos. It is the fastest and smartest formula one racer that gets ahead and they speed past you with a look of mockery on their faces! With the construction of the new link bridge leading to Falomo from Ozumba Mbadiwe, traffic has eased up on that stretch of the road and I see that the traffic authorities have had to put down cones down the side to stop people from coming right to front to cut in but still they do.
Sometimes I wish I was a traffic warden! I would fill up my quota of offenders faster than you can say speed! There would be no begging me for mercy and my popularity would beat that of Madam Agnes the very dedicated traffic warden at the traffic lights by the law school. I have seen her shake her stick quite vigorously at bad drivers who narrowly escape her with a cross look on her face.
The two wheeler ones called Okadas are not left out. They are a necessary evil I have come to find out but who regulates how you go about getting a license to ride one? They have been and continue to be a menace and I daresay that the authorities do not just care about the experience of the rider but about the monies they collect from them at every point. Driving along Ajose Adeogun 2weeks ago, I could see them being stopped by some guys wearing vests and extorting money from them? Where does this money go to, I wonder and who are these men.?
What happened to the law about helmets? Did it get forgotten or it is not longer the rave as more than enough helmets have been sold by the contractor who got the job to supply and those who have benefitted from passing the bill, thereby getting a cut from the contractor.
They have rules of their own, the traffic lights do not concern nor apply to them as they drive straight through and the traffic wardens just look on thoroughly exhausted and lackadaisicasl about it all. How many can you really stop and prosecute? They are like a swarm of bees and they sting you constantly when they bash and scratch your car trying to go through a very tiny gap between two cars, and in so doing break your side mirror. Many people I know have complained about them but there seems to be no organizing the chaos they bring to the roads. I guess we continue to suffer and smile while we mend the scratches and dents in our vehicles.
On another note, it is very disheartening to note the lack of street lights on the bridge all the way through from the 3rd Mainland till you get to the Alfred Rewane exit and then you get some respite. It is quite alarming and dangerous and each time I have to ply that road at night I say my prayers for the good lord to lead me through to the end of the tunnel.
It is a pleasure, however, and law abiding, to see some motorists stop at the traffic lights at night even when there is no traffick police watching. Doing the right thing at the right time is not that hard. It means that you care about your life and it does reflect in your lifestyle.
Finally, I bid farewell to a thespian of note, a father, humor merchant, erudite communicator , dogged, hardworking and all round happy go lucky man, Sam Loco Efe as he begins the final journey to the other side this week. There can only be one and it was a privilege to work with you. I say boy! Goodnight Uncle Sam!