The massive reintroduction of zebra crossing on all major roads in metropolitan Lagos recently is timely and worthwhile. It is, however, observed that the road users (motorists/pedestrians) are largely ignorant of the need for and the essence of this safety measure on the roads.
Hence, motorists often raced across the crossing, notwithstanding the number of pedestrians attempting to or are crossing the road. Also, often time pedestrian willing to cross the road do passively stand aloof, few metres from the zebra crossing box.
Lagos roads are very busy. You will find trailers, SUVs, and Danfos on the highway. Most of the drivers of these vehicles do not care about pedestrians nor any traffic rules. They simply drive with reckless abandon as they feel they own the road. This oftentimes than not put pedestrians in danger of being knocked down by oncoming and overspeeding vehicles.
Presently, efforts at getting zebra crossing across all roads in metropolitan Lagos seems a futile exercise, for people are yet to make optimal use of it as a safety device for pedestrians.
However, creating mass awareness about the benefits of zebra crossing on the highway, prior the painting of the road and enforcement of zebra crossing regulations among the road users will go a long way at turning the road users to its usage in metropolitan Lagos.
Also, painting of the road with WHITE PAINT may not be enough, but installation of supplementary components such as flood light, reflectorised/cat-eyes, beacons traffic light around the zebra crossing area will not only create better awareness about this device among the road users, also, it will further earn the device the due respect from the road users within time and space.
Otherwise, the prevailing unsafe road traffic environment especially among the pedestrians will persist, and more hard-earned public funds will continue to be wasted, by the authorities, due to misplacement of priorities in the provision of road safety device in metropolitan Lagos.
Here are pedestrian safety and crossing tips for Nigerians and Tourists on Lagos roads:
Never stroll on Zebra crossing
Traffic rules demand that drivers stop when they see pedestrians walking on Zebra crossing. However, in Lagos, they won’t stop. They will continue driving. So to be on the safe side, it is better you run when using the Zebra crossing.
In fact, if they see you strolling, the driver will shout at you to get away from the road.
Ditch anything that reduces vision or hearing
You have to be conscious of your ambience when crossing a road in Lagos, Hence, you should ditch everything that reduces vision or hearing. This is for those who wear dark shades and plug their ears. A vehicle can come from nowhere and you may probably be knocked down.
Plead with drivers to allow you cross
Since the drivers do not respect pedestrians or obey traffic rules except when LASTMA officials are present, you should plead with them to allow you cross. That way, you will not spend minutes waiting for the road to be clear before you cross.
Never assume the driver will stop
Drivers in Lagos feel that they own the road. Hence, they rarely stop for any pedestrian to cross the road. Consequently, do not assume that they will stop.
You should wait until the road is clear before you cross.
Use the pedestrian bridge
If there is a pedestrian bridge, you should use it. It is safer. Besides, you will be arrested if you cross the road when there is a pedestrian bridge right in front of you.