Wednesday, 4 April 2012

NYSC & Social Work: Enhancing the Safety of Pedestrians

When crossing roads, look left, look right, and wait until the road is not busy. Once the road appears free, look left again, look right again before taking big leaps. If in doubt, wait and check again. Those are lines often used by parents, guardians and even road safety officials when enlightening children, the aged or the general public. Perhaps, that was how many of us learnt to cross busy roads.

After reaching out to the primary and secondary school students in Victoria Island and sharing the euphoria of Christmas with gentle orphans in 2011, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members of the Drama CD group in Eti Osa 1 local government (LG) lately set out to impact their immediate environment. Their newest community development (CD) project work titled, Project Zebra Crossing, was initiated on February 17 2012 and completed on the 24th day of the same month. The project which had been chosen from a pool of ideas generated by corps members in a recent call for submissions was funded and executed by the CD group members while artisan manpower and traffic regulation resources were provided by the works personnel of the Eti Osa 1 LG. The Drama CD group coordinator, Alhaja A.O. Igara, had mandated all corps members to assemble and brainstorm for new projects some weeks ago and the Zebra crossing idea was one of the many realistic and proactive suggestions.

Chosen because of its budget-friendliness and the need for a pedestrian walk on the Muri Okunola Street in Victoria Island, the Zebra crossing project attracted the attention of many workers and inhabitants in the neighbourhood. During the project execution proper, the Drama CD group members safely redirected traffic onto one side of the two-lane road and consciously sped up the rate of the Zebra crossing’s construction. This was done to reduce the effect of their work on the ease of traffic. It is unfortunate that many road users, motorcyclists especially, do not know the meaning of a Zebra crossing. Partly because of their ignorance for the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) road users’ handbooks, several drivers, pedestrians and riders guessed that the well-spaced white lines are often put for mere beautification purposes. To rectify this speculation, some of the corps members briefly orientated a few commercial motorcyclists on the implication of the newly constructed Zebra crossing.

In December last year, the FRSC reported that 171 lives were lost in 268 known crashes. In February alone, the corps has found no less than 52 dead persons in ghastly road accidents while several survivors are still on admission in specialist hospitals receiving due treatments. On Fridays, several tens of muslim faithfuls troop out of the central mosque located within the Eti Osa 1 local government office after observing their religious duty. As such, crossing the road hastily on such days could result in pernicious collisions with motorcycles, automobiles or any other moving machinery. And, considering the desire of most pedestrians to be punctual at the mosque or leave after the prayers, accidents are not impossible. In the same vein, the NYSC corps members who often cross from their local government office to the opposite commercial complex en masse and in search fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) are vulnerable to road mishaps. Consequently, the Drama CD group thought it wise to improve the safety of all pedestrians and corps members by providing a Zebra crossing on the roads in front of the Eti Osa 1 LG.

Read More at: The Nigerian Guardian

See Photos on: Flicker page

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