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Road traffic safety refers to the methods and measures used to prevent road users from being killed or seriously injured. Typical road users include: pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, vehicle passengers, horse-riders and passengers of on-road public transport (mainly buses and trams). As sustainable solutions for all classes of road have not been identified, particularly low-traffic rural and remote roads, a hierarchy of control should be applied, similar to classifications used to improve occupational safety and health. At the highest level is sustainable prevention of serious injury and death crashes, with sustainable requiring all key result areas to be considered. At the second level is real time risk reduction, which involves providing users at severe risk with a specific warning to enable them to take mitigating action. The third level is about reducing the crash risk which involves applying the road design standards and guidelines (such as from AASHTO), improving driver behaviour and enforcement. (International Transport Forum,ITF, 2008).
Road traffic safety deals exclusively with road traffic crashes described above- How to reduce their number and their consequence (Wikipedia, 2009). This does not include a person falling down on the road. That is, for a pedestrian to be involved in traffic crash, a vehicle must have hit the victim. Beginning from late 1960’s however, the word ‘accident’ was being replaced with crash because the former conveys a sense that the loss are due exclusively to fate and lack predictability whereas all crashes have some elements of human error hence due to certain action(s) or inaction(s) of an or some individuals which engineered the crash. To this extent it cannot be said to be planned; even if not unconsciously. Road traffic crash is unarguably a major killer of men. The magnitude and trend of the crash worldwide is heartbreaking, yet unfortunately, the rising tide of this global problem has continued to outstrip effort to curtail it. Traffic crash is presently the 11th leading cause of death and it may rise to 3rd position by 2020. In Nigeria one person is killed in less than two hours as at 2008, one Road Traffic Crashes occur every 58 minutes and 54 deaths occur in every 100, 000 population (Balogun, 2006). Road safety is a strategic response to the risk associated with road traffic crash. It is a shared responsibility and a multi-sectorial problem. According to Trincta et al, 1988, three eras of road safety in the world are;
· 1940-1950 when Road Traffic Crashes increased (Traffic safety increased proportionately with the vehicle population-Motorization)
· 1950-1970 when Road Traffic Crashes decline (Traffic safety more than the decline in vehicle ownership-Motorization)
· 1970-Date when Road Traffic crashes decline (Traffic safety) in spite of population growth in vehicle traffic.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Road traffic crashes are one of the world’s largest public health and injury prevention problems. The problem is all the more acute because the victims are overwhelmingly healthy before their crashes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1 million people are killed on the world’s roads each year (Statistical annex 2010). A report published by the WHO in 2004 estimated that some 1.2 million people were killed and 50 million injured in traffic collisions on the roads around the world year (WHO 2010) and was the leading cause of death among children 10–19 years of age. The report also noted that the problem was most severe in developing countries and that simple prevention measures could halve the number of deaths (BBC News 2008). The standard measures used in assessing road safety interventions are fatalities and killed or seriously injured (KSI) rates, usually per billion (109) passenger kilometres. Countries caught in the old road safety paradigm, (KSI league table) replace KSI rates with crash rates — for example, crashes per million vehicle miles. Vehicle speed within the human tolerances for avoiding serious injury and death is a key goal of modern road design because impact speed affects the severity of injury to both occupants and pedestrians. For occupants, Joksch (1993) found the probability of death for drivers in multi-vehicle accidents increased as the fourth power of impact speed (often referred to by the mathematical term δv ("delta V"), meaning change in velocity). Injuries are caused by sudden, severe acceleration (or deceleration); this is difficult to measure. However, crash reconstruction techniques can estimate vehicle speeds before a crash. Therefore, the change in speed is used as a surrogate for acceleration. This enabled the Swedish Road Administration to identify the KSI risk curves using actual crash reconstruction data which led to the human tolerances for serious injury and death referenced above. Interventions are generally much easier to identify in the modern road safety paradigm, whose focus is on the human tolerances for serious injury and death. For example, the elimination of head-on KSI crashes simply required the installation of an appropriate median crash barrier. Also, roundabouts, often with speed reducing approaches, encounter very few KSI crashes. The old road safety paradigm of purely crash risk is a far more complex matter. Contributing factors to highway crashes may be related to the driver (such as driver error, illness, or fatigue), the vehicle (brake, steering, or throttle failures), or the road itself (lack of sight distance, poor roadside clear zones, etc.). Interventions may seek to reduce or compensate for these factors, or reduce the severity of crashes. A comprehensive outline of interventions areas can be seen in management systems for road safety. Study conducted in Finland revealed that the fatality risk is increased most when a road accident type is either pedestrian or meeting of the vehicles (Sirvio et al). In addition to management systems, which apply predominantly to networks in built-up areas, another class of interventions relates to the design of roadway networks for new districts. Such interventions explore the configurations of a network that will inherently reduce the probability of collisions (Lovegrove and stayed 2006). Interventions for the prevention of road traffic injuries are often evaluated; the Cochrane Library has published a wide variety of reviews of interventions for the prevention of road traffic injuries (ROSPA 2010). For road traffic safety purposes it can be helpful to classify roads into three usages: built-up urban streets with slower speeds, greater densities, and more diversity among road users; non built-up rural roads with higher speeds; and major highways (motorways / Interstates / freeways/ Autobahns, etc.) reserved for motor- vehicles, and which are often designed to minimize and attenuate crashes. Most injuries occur on urban streets but most fatalities on rural roads, while motorways are the safest in relation to distance travelled. For example, in 2013, German autobahns carried 31% of motorized road traffic (in travel- kilometres) while accounting for 13% of Germany's traffic deaths. The autobahn fatality rate of 1.9 deaths per billion-travel- kilometres compared favourably with the4.7 rate on urban streets and 6.6 rates on rural roads (FHRI 2014).
1.2 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study shall be conducted in Federal secretariat, Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Kaduna is a fast-growing city which has witnessed some infrastructural growth in the past decade. It has an extensive network of roads including a six lane superhighway which is currently the widest road in the city. Transportation in Kaduna is mainly by Bus. The projected population of Kaduna metropolis as at 2015 was 492,100. Most inhabitants are civil servants and traders. The Federal secretariat is a large complex which houses four ministries. Many of the civil servants go to work using their private vehicles.
As a result of the researcher’s seat back and rethink over this study, there is a need for “road safety practices among private motorists in federal secretariat Kawo, Kaduna”. This will enable the Federal Road Safety Commission and the society to see the positive effects of road safety practices so also ensure adequate compliance of road users to road traffic rules in order to regulate the number of road accidents in the area of study.
1.4 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this study is to assess the compliance or otherwise of private motorists to safety practices at Federal secretariat, Kaduna.
The following are objectives to be adopted to achieve the above stated aim;
1. To examine road traffic crashes involving private motorists of Federal secretariat, Kaduna.
2. To deduce whether the cases of road traffic crash is as a result of driver’s ignorance to road traffic regulations.
3. To examine private motorists compliance to road traffic regulation.
4. To determine driver’s knowledge of road traffic regulations.
5. To examine how much driver’s attitude towards road safety practice affects road traffic.
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