The Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, has said private car owners are guiltier of flouting safety belt rule than commercial bus drivers (danfo) do in Lagos.
“It is surprising, but it is the truth”, said Ema Efekoya, the Ikeja Unit Commander of the FRSC.
Efekoya told Newsbreak.ng that private car road offenders are the larger of the 9,459 seat belt violation cases the FRSC Lagos Command recorded in 2017.
“It is a wrong notion that Danfo drivers are guiltier than private car owners of driving without seat belt”, she said.
“It is a general problem in Lagos. Most private car owners only use seat when they like. The problem is that they know it is wrong, but they just do it. They don’t care about the danger of non-adherence to such important safety rule, she said.
Efekoya believes that “attitude and ignorance” are the major factors affecting the implementation of seat beat culture on roads.
This medium sought the opinions of road users on non-adherence to seat belt use. Christian Edward, a banker, said nothing could be more discomforting to him behind the wheels than wearing on a seat belt.
He said: “Before I bought my new car, my old car did not have air-conditioning system. Then, wearing a seat belt in a hot weather and, sometimes, in a traffic jam was difficult. So, I just free myself (sic). I believe the experiences of many whose vehicles do not have cooling systems are the same as mine.”
Mc Anthony Ejetokwa, a 44-year-old trader at the Alaba International Market, said a robbery attack he sometime encountered made him stop wearing on a seat belt while driving.
“I ran into a gang of robbers while driving on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway some time ago. It was night time and I attempted an escape, as many other drivers were doing, but my seat belt suddenly became stuck in its receptacle. It was God who saved me on that day. Since then, I rarely use my belt when driving at night”, he said.
In the case of Adeola Yussuf, the proverb, “once bitten, twice shy” counts for nothing during pregnancy.
Twice arrested by officials of the FRSC, Yussuf revealed her experience.
“The truth is we know how important the use of seat belt is, but for a pregnant woman it is not easy wearing one while driving”, said Yussuf, who is a trader at the Ketu area of the metropolis.
She added: “I was arrested twice while pregnant for not wearing a seat belt and I paid fines on both occasions.”
Tunde Shakiru, a taxi driver, said but for the FRSC officials and road traffic management agents, he will hardly be caught wearing a seat beat. “I find it very inconvenient to use,” said the 34-year-old driver.
Newsbreak.ng findings revealed that penalty for incurring a seat belt offence is a N4,000 fine.