THE Nigerian Tribune has won an award of excellence in road safety reporting for the year 2016.
The award was presented to it by driving instructors in the country under the auspices of Association of Driving Instructors of Nigeria (ADIN.)
It was presented on behalf of the association by Reverend Dr Gloria Chidile, who is woman leader/South West Secretary of ADIN, at the grand finale of the first international conference of the group held in Abuja.
The conference had as its theme, “Fast-tracking Safety on West Africa Roads through Quality Driving Education.”
Speaking at the award ceremony, the national president of ADIN, Jide Owatunmise, said that the association was taking note and recording contributions as it called for support in ensuring safety on roads.
He raised the alarm over what he described as disgraceful conspiracies going on at the various driver licencing centres where he alleged that applicants for licences were not compelled to go through conventional driving schools for requisite theory and practical training, describing the fraud as being responsible for the alarming rate of road crashes in the country.
Owatunmise said that it was worrisome that a larger percentage of drivers did not know traffic signs and defensive driving techniques as well as implications for violating traffic rules.
He stressed the need for government to ensure that no applicant, no matter the status, obtained driver’s licence without going through the mandatory trainings in accredited driving schools.
Owatunmise urged vehicle inspection officers in the states to establish and implement well-structured theory and practical tests as obtained abroad.
According to him, it should be made mandatory that only those who passed structured and transparent tests qualified for driver’s licences.
The president advocated for current holders of licence to be made to attend certified refresher training in a driving school as a pre-condition for renewal of licence.
He argued that banning tricycles and motorcycles from operating on highways was not solution to the accidents caused by them.
He suggested that such operators be made to go through accredited driving schools for riders education as a way to reduce accidents associated with them.