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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 6 NO 1, JUNE, 2008

      ROAD TRANSPORT POLICY AND TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA

Oyadiran Phillip  A.
Department of Public Administration, University of Abuja
and
Aregbesola Adewumi  M.
Directorate of Road Traffic Service,  ABUJA.
                            

 

Abstract
The effectiveness of road transportation relies heavily on several factors and the attitude of the road driver to traffic engineering, control and management requirement. It is in the light of the above consideration and context that this study; Road Transport policy and Traffic management in Nigeria, Directorate of Road Traffic Service (DRTS) Federal Capital Territory Abuja in Perspective can conveniently be situated. The study brings into focus for better appreciation, the important roles of the traffic officers in driving test licenses, road worthiness test, enlightenment campaign activities, highway patrol, revenue generation etc which are all important elements in actualizing the policy thrust of the country’s transport policy of adequacy and safety using both primary and secondary sources of data collection with simple percentage method of analysis and system theory as theoretical underpinning. Conclusion and far reaching recommendations were drawn in the light of the findings with the hope that such will shape the transportation policy process of government.

Keywords: Policy; transport; management; traffic

 


Introduction
Transportation had always played a vital role in the development of any nation.  This is borne out of the fact that the primary function of transportation is to move passenger or goods from a place of lesser value to a place of higher value or utility.  Transportation contributes two types of utility namely: place and time utility, which in economic terms simply means moving goods and people where they are wanted, and when they are wanted.  Dickey (1995) opined that Transportation is essentially a service or facility that links source of raw material, the manufacturing and processing centers and the markets to achieve economic growth and development.  It is an industry created to serve the basic needs of the society. 

The effectiveness of road transportation relies heavily on the type and condition of vehicle under use, the road condition, the driver’s competence, the attitude of the driver to traffic engineering, control, management as well as the policy guidelines that give directions to the entire transport system.

The social, economic and political environment of a country is dynamic


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responding to national and international stimuli. Transport plays a pivotal role in this; therefore, a country’s transport system must be sensitive to such a dynamic environment if it is to play its deserved role in the various sectors of the economy. Over the past seven years, Nigeria has embarked on a reform process. Transport as a major element and factor in the Country’s growth process is not left out. The National Transport policy document is responsive to the needs of the country and its people.  The fundamental goals have been to develop an adequate, affordable, safe, environmentally sound and efficient transport system in the context of a progressive and competitive market economy.

To achieve the objectives of this policy a certain institutional framework which includes the Federal Ministry of Transport with its arrays of departments and parastatals with similar set up at the state levels and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Federal Road Safety Commission, the Police, the Directorate of Road Traffic Service (DRTS) and its states equivalent just to mention a few were established and strengthened. The study shall examine the Nigeria’s transport policy documents and the traffic management measure that are applicable in the FCT against the background of how the traffic officer in the FCT has helped to actualize it. To this end attention was drawn to the primary duties of the FCT DRTS as enshrined in its enabling law.

Attentions on transport policy and traffic management were tailored to existing practices and powers binding the DRTS. The FCT is chosen because the way the transport policy and traffic management is implemented here seems to typify the practices elsewhere in the country. Another reason for selecting the FCT is due to its been the Federal Capital Territory, its transport activities impact on the entire country.
The delicate imbalance between the Nigerian transport policy document specifications and the present condition of our traffic management vis-à-vis the role the road traffic officer is expected to play give rise to the following research questions:

To what extent have the policy inconsistencies of the Federal Government       responsible for the present unwieldy transport system in Nigeria at large and the Federal Capital Territory in particular?

Has the observed duplication of institutional framework for enforcing the traffic management measures and administering the policy a negative impact on road transport administration in the FCT?

Why have the goals, missions and objectives of the policy   instrument not translated into a realizable form within the       context of the present numerous institutional arrangements?

Why are the objectives of the transport policy poorly met and why has it been so?
 What are the factors hindering the service effectiveness and operational efficiency of the road traffic officer despite the lofty responsibilities the enabling law confers on them in the FCT? And

Has the road traffic officer been able to make any meaningful impact on Road


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Traffic administration in the FCT and will this continue to be so? 
 
 Objectives
The specific objectives of this study are to:

  1. Review the national transport policy document as it affects the road transport sub sector
  2. Identify succinctly other agencies associated with transport policy administration in Nigeria;
  3. Examine the role of road traffic officers as performed in the Federal Capital Territory.
  4. Identify the major challenges facing the road traffic officers in the performance of their statutory assignments.

      -  determine the contributions of road traffic officers to traffic management in the FCT

Research Methodology
  The methodology adopted in this study is as follows:

Primary source of data collection whose instrument includes: Direct observation and interview Direct observation was achieved through careful inspection and note taking at random.  In order to do these, the characteristic, elements and variables of the study such as: the Road Traffic Officers, the drivers, the general public, the traffic Management System, the Transport policy, the Roads and the Geography of the FCT were carefully defined. A major advantage of this technique over the others used is that taking responses is minimized.

Interview represents a personal contact between the researchers who are the interviewer and the respondents, the interviewee.  It constitutes a valuable data collection tool in this study as large population of the respondent cannot read or write. This technique affords the researchers face-to-face interaction with the opportunity to probe further and get clarification on answers given; furthermore, useful data, which were unforeseen, came up as both interviewers and interviewee interact.

In this study representative samples were taken from the four most populated area councils (AMAC, Kuje, Gwagwalada and Bwari) the choice is based on past experience and statistical trend of traffic volume and convenience. The researchers recognized that there are various units and departments under the Directorate some of which functions have no direct dealings with vehicle testing, traffic patrol and enlightenment campaign. In the light of this the sample population was drawn from four units that have direct bearings on the attributes listed above. These units are operations, inspections, enforcement and drivers licensing units.

To have a balanced information on the entire subject covered the study also sampled opinion of the general public and drivers in the four area councils earlier mentioned using an appropriate sampling frame and sampling methods. The study covers all mobile and immobile attributes of transport (roads, vehicle, etc)

Method of data analysis Because of the type of data required and the method of data acquisition adopted, the descriptive method of analysis was used. In this approach, the data collected from interview were presented in tables of percentage


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from which meaning can be inferred and valid conclusion drawn.

Secondary source of data collection. This involves the historical data on the Nigerian transport system, antecedents to the development of the National Transport Policy documents.  The traffic management measures, causes, nature, effect, fatality and severity of the accident systems in Nigeria among others.  They are abstracts from the publication of the VIO, the Police, the FRSC, Ministry of Works and their state equivalents.  Other sources include: the FCT digest, World Bank report, etc

Theoretical Framework

To ensure comprehensiveness in this study the Sub-system approach is used as theoretical Framework. Oyeyemi (2002) observed that the sub system approach is one of the System approaches to the examination of economic units in planning and management process which are important for the comprehension of the dynamics of changes and development and interdependent grouping or further organization of resources, and institutions which are involved in the planning, implementation, management and evaluation. David (1992) opined that the Sub system approach could also be used for comparative static studies by means of which for examples, the effect of different development modes and project strategies or political intervention can be worked out.

On the concept of subsystem studies” Shuaibu (1993) illustrates the differences between the subsystem approach and other approaches such as traffic flow; he explained that the vagueness of the sub system studies is not in the methodology of approach but in the scope and comprehensive research. According to Chikolow et al (2004), rather than focusing horizontally on traffic generator or attractors which are the conventional units of analysis in traditional transport and policy analysis research; the sub-system approach forces the analysis to examine the vertical set of activities i.e. (policies, institutions, enforcement, management and results) that facilitates efficient movement at each points of the value adding process of transport.        

Therefore, the system approach represents a group of economic activities, which are relevant to this study. The transport policy and traffic management in the Federal Capital Territory is seen as a transport management subsystem in the mainstream of the national transport system.

Overview of Nigeria’s Transport Policy
Transport is the pilot on which all development and other economic activities revolve.  The collapse of the transport sector, therefore, would affect other economic activities.  Transportation is an integral part of the functioning of any society.  It exhibit a very close relationship to the style of life, the range and the location of productive and leisure activities and goods and services which are available for consumption.

No society can urbanize, industrialize and advance the living standard of its people without the aid of transport for the activity centre, proximity to place of work, relation, socializing, shopping, medical care etc.


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Transport is an important part of every day life and in consequence; a large and expansive literature has grown over the years on various aspects of transport movement. One of the characteristics of road transport is its ability to give door-to-door facility and that it acts as feeder to all the other modes.

According to Oni (2004) Transport is a key element in the social and economic development of any nation. Essentially, therefore, Nigeria’s transport policy has two major thrusts, namely: that transport services are adequate to meet the social and economic needs of the country and to provide an effective instrument of national development; and that the transport system ensures the most efficient use of resources within the transport sector and a sustained improvement of the sector’s productivity. 

There is therefore, the need to develop a national transport policy that is responsible to the needs of the country and its people. According to Oyesiku (2004) the prime of such a policy is the provision of an affordable adequate and efficient transport system. The policy of the federal republic of Nigeria, as contained in its National Economic Empowerment and Development strategy (NEEDS), is to increase the participation of the private sector and private initiative in the national economy. Under this arrangement, the private sector “will be executor, investor and manager of businesses, while the government will play the role of enabler, facilitator and regulator, helping the private sector to grow, create job and general wealth”. The national transport policy therefore acknowledges this need for introduction of the discipline of market economy into the country’s transport sector, in order to attract private investment and initiative and as far as possible, to transfer responsibilities for the functioning of the transport system from government to the private sector.

This does not mean the abdication of government responsibilities, but rather a focus on the role of the government leading to a true public – private sector partnership (PPP), with both the private and public sector performing their proper function, this is the main goal of the current national transport policy for Nigeria.

 The fundamental goals of Nigeria’s transport policy are to develop an adequate, affordable, safe; environmentally sound and efficient transport system in the context of a progressive and competitive market economy.

Issues in Transportation and Road Network in FCT
The Transport policy observed the dominance of the road in the transport system of the nation and the increased demand for road transport. The policy also recognized the very large number of small operators in the sector due to high costs of vehicles, their poor state of maintenance and the overloading characteristics of the vehicles all of which constitute various menace to safety on the road.

 There are two distinct categories of transportation services provided to support a viable and efficient capital city, the first deals with the provision of the facilities to accommodate the daily functioning of the city itself, roads streets, public transport services and myriad of ancillary facilities


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required to provide for the diverse movement of people and goods essentials for the operation of any urban area. And the second category of transport services are those required to allow the new capital city to interact with the rest of Nigeria as well as the world in fulfilling its national function – air services, inter regional highway and trucking services are the major component of the total transport system. 

The basic concept of transportation in the city is to support the city and the territory with an adequate high way system and other mass transit system. The network consists of peripheral and traverse expressways, parkways, transit way and arterial collectors and local streets. The combination of these systems has created a very comprehensive highway system bounding the major development sectors and defining their outer limit. These are provided to ease movement of commuters, as well as pedestrian and goods.

The Abuja Urban Mass Transit Company (AUMTCO) is an agency established and charged with the responsibility of providing convenient and efficient intra and intercity transportation services for the territory. At inception in 1989 a fleet of 14 buses was introduced. This was increased to 56 to ease mobility need due to the influx of people into the territory. Numerous taxi painted in the national colour (green) commuters buses and the unpainted buses and the unpainted private taxis dubbed (kabu-kabu) abound to provide efficient transport services inside and outside the territory.

Previous transport policy had also hampered formulation, development, regulation, control and implementation of urban transport guidelines. These have somewhat made the concept of the policy difficult and the appraisal of the policy document impossible before implementation. Moreover, the process of formulation of the policy alienates the stakeholders, particularly private sector operators of the transport system as well as the ordinary transport users or riders. The fact that there was little consultation with stakeholders made the previous efforts of putting together national transport policy on exercise destined for the shelves. Closely associated with the problem of inadequate data and poor consultation, the approaches of government in the evolution of transport policy are the inability of even government stated policy statement to change overtime. A good regulatory and control system, like a transport system itself must be subjected to modification and review. Despite so much in the literature of urban transportation development, even in several developing countries, virtually all – urban centers in Nigeria do not have an urban transport development plan Lagos has one but this is not updated.

As a result of these constraints, although the potential effect of urban transport policy is great, efforts to put in place urban transportation policy have relatively little effect on the provision, use and rider ship of urban transportation services and therefore, poor qualities of the services and welfare of the people. The issues in urban transport policy in Nigeria as being discussed call for government intervention in setting the rules guiding urban transport system in the country. These issues do not support government direct participation in the provision of services or setting out


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rigid guidelines for the operation and management of urban transportation systems in the country. Indeed, the issues are not the basis of arguments for regulation or deregulation but articulating urban transportation policy that would guide efficient, adequate safe, comfortable and cost effective urban transportation system. 

Drivers Preparation, Testing and Training
A human being can be more than a monster sometimes he refuses to be normal or unreasonable the implication of this statement is borne out of an important report by her majesty stationery office (1974). This report titled “road craft, the police driver manual” has a vital mission geared towards helping the driver to realize the need for high degree of physical and mental fitness in order to drive a motor vehicle according to the highest standard of skill, safety and consideration for other users of the road.

Many researchers insist that prospective drivers should adequately prepare and must understand safe driving practices. They must know the rule of the road and the meaning of road signs and signals. They must also understand what to do during certain driving situations such as accident or force overtaking.
The Transportation Research Board of the United States (1997) insists that potential drivers must be adequately trained and educated. Thus before issuing a driving license to prospective drivers, the following parts should be covered in the driving examination.
(a)        Rules: The prospective driver must know all rules of driving such as speed limit, restrictions etc;
(b)        Signs and Signals – the prospective driver should be able to interpret signs and signals: the implication of this requirement is that the prospective driver must be able to read and if possible write;
(c)        Vision and hearing: - The prospective driver must have good vision and ability to hear as these attributes will affect his ability to react to difficulty during maneuvers; and
(d)       Driving skills:- This is the actual driving or road test in which the ability of the driver to handle a vehicle properly must be tested and ascertained.
            All the above-mentioned factors affect the Traffic Officer Safety enforcement.

In order to ensure safety on a road, minimum standards must be set so that patrol of the highways and control of traffic result in effective ways of making road users comply with rules and regulations designed to reduce unnecessary deaths on the roads. Also a strict and relevant test is necessary to ensure that the teaching has been comprehensive and well learned. The purposes of driving tests in any country are:-
(i)         To ensure that new drivers have reached certain minimum standard of driving
(ii)        To set the standards of driving to which instructors should teach. Certainly, every thing follows from the test, which will determine the level of training. Unfortunately, in many developing countries this examination of ability is inadequate, poorly conducted and


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fails to ensure competence in causing
avoidance.

Problems of Road Traffic Services and Management in Nigeria
One of the biggest problems facing road traffic officers in Nigeria is the scarcity of trained personnel compared to vehicle numbers.  In all states including the FCT, the rate of growth of vehicle ownership far outstrips the rate of growth of road traffic officers/vehicle inspectors. Some of the factors are; 
-Poor road traffic and physical inspection tools and facilities
-Bad road infrastructure and conditions
-Communication gaps between road traffic officers and the road users
-Poor funding
-Lack of discipline, accountability and probity

The quality of being completely honourable and trustworthy is not found with the personnel charged with the responsibility of implementing the road traffic management in Nigeria.  Road traffic/vehicle inspectors, licensing personnel, etc are corrupt.  They do not impose on traffic offenders the stipulated fines or punishments, revenue generated converted to personal use by craft and graft. Road traffic officers especially the half educated ones are undisciplined.  They do not adhere to traffic management and vehicle inspection regulation.  They do not follow the registration, testing and licensing procedures.  In short they refuse to be responsible or accountable.

Sometimes, in the recent past years, the traffic police were found to be so corrupt that they were ordered out of the road.  Later, those who replaced them were found to be more corrupt.  Dedication to duty and excellence is yet to be part of the Nigerian worker culture.  It is most saddening to realize that through corruption, shortsightedness and inept management practices, Nigerian has recorded many losses both human and material in the road transport sub sector.

Historical Development of Road Traffic Services
The Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Department of Vehicle Inspection Schemes etc. as it is variously called in different states and the FCT has metamorphosed through development stages all with a practical attempt of ensuring a safe, sound and effective transport policy administration and traffic management system.  The FCT DRTS is a full fledge directorate under the supervision of the Executive Secretary Transport. Its FCT headquarters is situated in Mabuchi district of the city, it has zonal officers in all the six area councils of the FCT.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Directorate of Road Traffic Services DRTS is headed by a substantive Director and is responsible to the Executive Secretary (E.S) transport in the federal capital development authority (FCDA). There are three zones in the territory and each is headed by assistant Director road traffic services who are directly responsible to the Director. At each outstation there is an officer who is directly responsible to the zonal officer.

The Director, Road Traffic Services has among other tasks the following: inspection of vehicles before registration for road worthiness, conducting driving test, administering the issuance of new


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national driving license scheme, inspection of accident vehicles, attending court of law to give evidence, etc he directly report to the E.S (transport), he along with other FCDA E.S’s of finance and supply, land and survey, health, education, agriculture, personnel, fire service and project monitoring etc are also responsible to the permanent secretary while the permanent secretary is directly responsible to the honourable minister FCT. The Honourable Minister is the over all Head of the Ministry and he is answerable to the President and Commander in – Chief of the armed forces federal republic of Nigeria.

Agencies in  Road Safety

Federal Ministry of Transport
This ministry is in charge of policy formulation and coordination. The federal ministry is supposed to issue, modify and cancel policies and laws relating to traffic efficiency.

 Federal Ministry of Works
The Federal Ministry of Works is charged with the responsibility of highway construction, federal roads and making regulations as to the use of such roads. They are backed by various decrees such as the federal highway Decree No. 7 of 1971 and as amended by Decree No. 6 of 1977 and Decree No. 33. of 1988. The Federal Ministry of Works, highway division has the responsibility for the planning, design, construction and maintenance of all federal government roads.

The Federal Road Safety Commission
This government agency was set up by Federal Government Decree No. 45 of 1987 with the following functions:
(a)        Making the highway safe for motorists and road users;
(b)        Recommending works and devices designed to eliminate or minimize accidents on the highway and advising the federal ministry of works on the localities where such works and devices are required; and
(c)        Educating motorists and member of the public on the importance of discipline on the highway, with other duties as may be assigned to them.

The National Conference of Road Traffic Services Directors/Chief Vehicles Inspection Officers of the Federation
This conference is an annual event of Directors of road traffic services/chief vehicles inspection officers of the federation. It is a policy review conference whose objection is to afford items of the various state road traffic departments opportunity to rub minds, share experience, consider new proposals on road traffic management in the country and proffer ideals and proposals that may assist government at all levels, motorists and the general public towards greater safety on our highway.

 

The Nigeria Police Force
As stated by the police Act of 1967, the Nigerian Police Force is a body charged with the following duties; The prevention


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and detection of crime; The apprehension of offenders, The preservation of law and order, The protection of property; and Performance of such military duties within or without Nigeria as may be required of them by or under the authority of the Act or any other.

 

State Level Administration
 Many states of the federation including the FCT have a road traffic services department, which in many cases is located in the state ministry/department of works or transport. In some states this department is simply called vehicle inspection unit (VIU) or department (VIO). The major aims of the department are: vehicle inspection, enforcement of laws and orders related to road traffic duties.

Local Government Level Administration
In theory, the bulk of the responsibility for the implementation of the vehicle inspection scheme should be that of the local area councils.In practice, however, the federal and state government are largely responsible. Ostensibly became of the comparatively luxury investment required, vis-à-vis the very poor financial conditions of the local authorities. Moreover, local authorities lack the administrative structure and sufficient qualified personnel to carry out the duties of the road traffic departments/vehicle inspection departments.

Field Survey on the Management of Transport and Traffic Process in Federal Capital Territory
 This Part Presents in tabular form the data obtained from field work interview relating to the management of transport and traffic process in the Federal Capital Territory, the analysis of the various Transport management, traffic processes and traffic officer is outlined as follows.

Road Traffic and Vehicle Inspection Process, Facilities and Certification


Table 1: Knowledge of Vehicle Inspection schemes

 

Test Knowledge

Respondents

Percentage

1.

No Idea

2

2.5

2.

Report for inspection every six month

28

35

3.

Only when caught

50

62.5

 

Total

80

100

Source:            Field Survey, 2007


Opinions of the knowledge of vehicle inspection for road worthiness certificate was sort from the driver, table 1 shows the occasion on which drivers took their vehicles for road worthiness inspection at the vehicle inspection office of DRTS Abuja. 2.5% of the drivers interviewed were not aware of the instance of test, 62.5% of them admitted that they had to be caught by the V.I.O before the test would be forcefully conducted While the remaining 35% will obediently report to DRTS to renew their road worthiness certificate immediately it expired after six months interval as in the case of commercial vehicles.  The scenario painted here has two implications. That there is a


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somewhat apathy towards voluntary obedience to roadworthiness acceptance and secondly that the V.I.O’S responses towards enforcing the law is effective.


 

Table 2 Conditions of FCT Vehicles

 

Condition

Respondents

Percentage

1

Good

53

66.2

2

Fair

20

25

3

Poor

7

8.8

 

Total

80

100

Source:   Field survey, 2007.

Attempts to capture the overall condition of the vehicles in use in the territory from the perspective of the general public generate the data in table 2. The result shows that an overwhelming 66.2% of the respondents admit that the vehicles are in a satisfactory good condition. 25% agreed that they were fair while the remaining 8.8% said the condition of such vehicles were poor. The distribution on the above table shows that FCT vehicles are generally in proper road worthy condition, which further collaborate the fact that FCT DRTS enforcement unit is alive to its duty. Physical inspection in the course of the field work shows that most of the vehicles on the city centre and area councils headquarters are in good condition while those in satellite towns and rural areas were in much poorer state, this suggest that adequate enforcement in such rural areas is lacking.


Table 3 Regularity of the patrol


S/No

Regularity 

Respondents

Percentage

1.

Everyday

0

0

2

Twice a week

80

100

3.

Once a week

0

0

 

Total

80

100

Source: field survey 2007


The regularity of patrol table 3 was a generated response from men of the operation department of FCT DRTS.The result shows that patrol activities are done twice a week; Monday and Wednesday. This is because of the inadequacy of manpower in the department and non-availability of patrol vehicles to carry out daily patrol in all the roads of the FCT.


 

 

 

Journal Of Research In National Development Volume 6  No.1  ISSN 1596 – 8308 June, 2008

 

Table 4 Availability of inspection facilities


S/No.

Availability

Respondents

Percentage

1.

Yes

80

100

2.

No

0

0

 

Total

80

100

Source:    Field survey, 2007


Information regarding this was sought from the traffic officers and the result is shown in table 4 below. The result shows that (100%) of the respondent said that inspection site of the DRTS headquarters (Mabushi) is stocked with all the required inspection kits such as weigh bridges, inspection pits among others, interactions with the inspection officers shows that on the average 1 out of 50 vehicles inspected failed the test when asked on what part of the vehicle are such failure associated, it was ascribed to aspects of tires, signals and safety apparatus


.

 

Road Traffic Officers and Driving Test
           
Table 5 Methods of obtaining driving License


S/No.

Methods

Respondents

Percentage

1.

Through driving test

60

75

2.

Through back door

20

25

 

Total

80

100

Source:    Field survey, 2007


Table 5 shows the method, which Drivers followed in obtaining driving licenses in Abuja federal Capital Territory. 75% of the drivers questioned stated that they got their driving licenses through driving test conducted by the DRTS while 25% of the licensed drivers got it through the back door or third party.  This result indicates that majority of license holders in Abuja follows the right channel in obtaining their driving licenses. To validate the claims made by the drivers in table above, the general public were questioned on whether or not they have seen the DRTS conducting driving test


.

Table 6 Acknowledgement of seeing traffic officers conducting driving test


S/No

Acknowledgement

Respondents

Percentage

1.

Yes

52

65

2.

No

28

35

3.

Total

80

100

Source:    Field survey, 2007.


From the above table, 65% of the respondents have acknowledged seeing


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traffic officers conducting driving test while 35% of them denied seeing traffic officers conducting driving tests.  This could be that the road followed by the traffic officers during test do not cover all the roads available in the area where the respondents reside when the test where being conducted or that the people questioned do not stay near where traffic offices were located.


Table 7 Regularity of the Test


S/No

Regularity 

Respondents

Percentage

1.

Daily

0

0

2

Weekly

80

100%

3.

Fortnightly

0

0

 

Total

80

100%

Source: field survey 2007


As reported by officers of the DRTS, driving test for all applicants in all their offices were conducted once a week, and from the interview conducted with the head of the testing unit the ratio between people who passed or failed the test in the first instance and those who failed to turn up for retesting after a period of one or two months is high


.

Table 8 Causes of drivers’ failure in Driving Test


S/No

Causes

Respondents

Percentage

1.

Poor knowledge of highway
Code

48

60

2.

Incompetence

32

40

 

Total

80

100

Source: field survey: 2007.


From the table above theoretical knowledge of driving code is responsible for most of the failures (60%), while incompetence accounted for the rest (40%).The relative awareness of the national driving license scheme, how they have responded to it and how much actually received the licenses for the past few years was investigated from where table 11  was developed.

Road Traffic, Regulation Enforcement and Patrol
The traffic officers in FCT are expected to carry out patrols in order to arrest traffic offenders and suspected stolen vehicles and enforce safety standards on Such aspect of vehicle functioning like traffic lights and driving mirrors, front lights, rear lights, worn out tires, bad screen wipers, absence of accessories like fire extinguishers, extra tires, reflective tapes, T-caution etc in particular and the highway rules in general. The measure of how adequate this regulation enforcement and patrol duties are done was sought from the general public.


 

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Table 9 knowledge of VIO’s regularity of patrol

S/NO

Knowledge 

Respondents

Percentage

1

Always seeing them

67

84

2

Scarcely seeing them

13

16

3

Never see them

0

0

4

Total

80

100

Source: Field survey, 2007


As seen in the table 9 above 84% of the respondents attested to the fact that officers are always on patrol particularly during rush hours along the major traffic corridors to enforce rules like, overloading, over speeding, road worthiness compliance, dangerous overtaking, traffic light violation among others which impart greatly on the safety level of FCT transport system. 


 

Table 10 general assessment of the enforcement duty   

S/NO

Levels of effectiveness

Respondents

Percentage

1

Very effective

22

27.5

2

Effective

41

51

3

Fairly

11

14

4

Not effective

6

7.5

 

Total

80

100

Source: Field survey, 2007.


Here, 27.5% and 51% of the respondents agreed that the enforcement operation of DRTS was very effective and effective respectively while 14% and 7.5%  said it is fairly effective and not effective respectively. This later groups of respondents are those from the rural and satellite towns.


 Table 11 Problems Encounter in Enforcement


S/NO

Problems

Respondent

Percentage

1

Lack of adequate patrol vehicle

36

45

2

Inadequate man power

33

41

3

Institutional

11

14

 

Total

80

100


The result shows that 45% of the respondents believed that inadequate patrol vehicle in place and time to cover all the nooks and crannies of the FCT is the major problem faced by the enforcement unit, this is closely followed by inadequate manpower 41% while institutional problems such bureaucracy, problems in


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posting and redeployment among others only accounts for 14%.


Table 12 Impact of patrol on drivers


S/NO

Impact of patrol

Respondents

Percentage

1

Patrol makes them more conscious while driving

46

57.5

2

Makes them afraid

16

20

3

Driver consider it a time wasting exercise

14

17.5

4

Makes them feel embarrassed

4

15

 

Total

80

100

Survey: field survey, 2007.
 


As seen in Table 12 above the result shows 57.5% confessed that the sight of the vehicle patrol team makes drivers more cautious in driving; in terms of speeds, compliance to seat belt, overtaking and avoidance of wrongful parking etc, while 20% of the respondents commented that it make them afraid and therefore do the right thing.
Another duty of the DRTS is to mutually correlate and collaborate with other law is enforcement Agencies for the successful arrest and prosecution of traffic offenders. To this end, table 13 therefore measures the degree of cooperation in this area.


 

Table 13 level of coordination with other law enforcement Agencies

S/NO

Relation

Respondent

Percentage

1

Cordial

69

82.5

2

Not cordial

11

17.5

 

Total

80

100

            Source: field survey, 2007.


 From the table above 69 respondents representing 82.5% indicated that the relationship between them and other law enforcement agency like: police, federal road safety commission (FRSC) etc were cordial. The police liaise with the vehicle inspection officers when (they) need accident vehicles to be inspected while the vehicle inspection officers liaise with the police when they want apprehended drivers to be prosecuted for the traffic offences committed. The judiciary summons the vehicle inspection officer to court to defend the accident report they give to the police after the accident inspection. Other area of co-operation is between the traffic officer and FRSC in the aspect of driving testing and licensing.



 

 

Journal Of Research In National Development Volume 6  No.1  ISSN 1596 – 8308 June, 2008

 

Table 14. Road Accident Statistics in FCT 1995-2004.


Year

No. of accident

Fatal

Serious

Minor

Persons killed

Persons injured

1995

1165

343

353

468

476

794

1996

1230

180

400

650

530

724

1997

1351

161

245

336

215

634

1998

1481

288

226

284

216

433

1999

1511

261

213

179

301

631

2000

1561

211

210

94

3231

469

2001

1568

117

103

85

129

331

2002

1416

146

102

72

106

116

2003

1117

113

99

43

93

101

2004

1089

109

74

50

74

98

Total

13490

1929

2025

2261

2371

4331

Source: DRTS, Abuja (2007).


       
 Conclusion and Recommendations
On the final note, from the data available, Nigeria has one of the highest cases of accident in the world. This is even alarming when death arising from road accident per annum is adjudge to be more then from all communicable diseases put together. This trend has been consistent and may be stepping up in the near future as the rate of motorization increases, if something is not done fast. To begin with, all irregularities and inconsistencies in the licensing procedure needed to be streamlined for better efficiency. This is in addition to faithful and conclusive implementation of all the recommendations proffered. FCT DRTS in particular and VIOs nationwide in general can do a lot in stemming this high tide of accident given adequate essential facilities and institutional framework to work, thereby making our highways more accident free.

In the light of the above highlights and findings the following recommendations are hereby advanced and suggested.

  • The existing road traffic regulations should be reviewed to remove any sections that are found wanting and to be replaced with sections that will assist in the implementation of transport policy and traffic management rules.
  • All existing public institutions involved in road traffic management should be streamlined in order to remove areas of conflict and duplication of efforts in order to ensure efficiency and reliability of the scheme.
  • The bodies responsible for the scheme should be strengthened.
  • There must be adequate manpower in quality and quantity as demanded by the provision of road traffic management i.e. registration, licensing, vehicle inspection, enlightenment/awareness campaign, in discipline and such automobile engineering matters as vehicles system components in acceleration, braking, steering, skidding, gear changing etc. detection of vehicle defects,

Journal Of Research In National Development Volume 6  No.1  ISSN 1596 – 8308 June, 2008

 


  •  
  • detection of driver defects, detection of roads conditions etc.
  • It is recommended that vehicle inspection /road traffic matters be handled in accordance with the three-tier of government structure of Nigeria. In this way, some functions or responsibilities shall be “exclusive” to federal government and/for its agencies being handled jointly by the three levels of government. The divisions of function/responsibilities suggested should be clear.
  1. There should be calls on the FCT to mount pressure on the federal    government to rehabilitate all the damaged roads within the territory and provide them with enough road signs and road markings.
  2. Government should make sure that more genuine vehicle parts are supplied at affordable price to vehicle owners and it should take further steps to see that all the fake parts of vehicles on the market are banned.
  3. Government should recruit more traffic officers and establish offices in each town to enable effective patrol of all the nooks and crannies of the territory. such offices should be provided with weighbridge and inspection pits/kits to enhance adequate discharge of their duties.
  4. A means of checks and balance should be initiated into the licensing procedures. This will create situation where fraud will be quickly detected within a period of not less than one year. All drivers to be licensed would go through the state appointed examiners for approval before any new issuance, renewal or replacement is made. To make these effective driving schools should be established in all area councils of the territory, where drivers can be trained and re-trained to acquire knowledge and all other requirements regarding safe driving on our roads and such schools should have well trained instructors to teach.
  5. Finally, Traffic officers should step up patrol along major highway on a daily basis, so also defaulters should be made to put their vehicles in good order and particulars reviewed rather than prosecution, higher fines should be imposed on traffic offenders to discourage perpetrators FCT traffic officers should step up education for drivers on the importance of road signs, road worthiness for vehicles etc.

References
Adebisi O. (2004)  Transport system
management in I.V Chikolow et’al (ed)
MOD Press Kaduna.

Chikolow et al (2004:): Perspectives on
Urban Transportation in Nigeria Kaduna:
MOD Press

David .L.(1992) The Transport Managers
Hand book London, Kogan

Dickey J.W. (1995) MetropolitanP
Planning. Washington,DC : Serpta book
Company

Faweth P. (1999) The Road to Transport
Management Manchester:  A.M. Wilton,
Fleet books


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