23rd December, 2010
The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has lamented the non-usage of road signs at road construction sites across the country.
Speaking at the launch of a book titled Traffic Signs Made Simple, Deputy Corps Marshal, Safety Engineering Department, FRSC, Mr. Babagana Ibrahim, pointedÂ out that quite often in Nigeria, signs and road markings that are integral components of road construction projects are abandoned even as the available fewÂ are defaced.
He noted that apart from the fact that there are inadequate traffic signs and markings on major highways, breach of the provisions of road signs/markings isÂ common habit among drivers.
Represented by Mr. Daniel Doherty, Ibrahim said when these negative factors combine with huge unskilled driver-population, the roads will be peopled withÂ road users with inadequate knowledge of traffic signs.
He explained further that such pictorial signs use symbols in place of words and are usually based on international protocol.
According to him the first modern road signs erected on a wide scale were designed for riders of bicycles. He added that cycling organisations began to erectÂ signs that warned of potential hazards ahead, rather than merely guide distance of directions.
Ibrahim added that with the development of automobiles, more complex signage systems, using more than just text based notices were introduced.
He classified traffic signs as; danger warning signs, priority signs, prohibitory/restrictive signs, special regulation signs, informative signs andÂ indicative signs.
Ibrahim stressed that importance of road signs can be summarized into five broad areas namely: safety of road users, efficiency of road users, warningÂ against potential dangers, directions and provision of mileage.
He stated that clearly related to inadequacy of road signs, is the high number of unskilled ill-trained divers that can hardly interpret road signs andÂ markings, adding that some literate road users indulge in conscious violation of traffic signs and outright defacement of road signs.