Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and are extremely involved in crashes and casualties.Despite making up less than one per cent of road traffic, they account for a number of deaths in collisions, and riders are more likely to die in a crash than drivers or passengers in cars.
Those new to or returning to motorcycling need to be especially aware of the risks, and understand how these can be seriously reduced by getting the right training and wearing full protective clothing.Besides, there is need for riders and motorcyclists to ensure safety at all times, thereby obeying traffic rules, experts have said.
Experts, who spoke to The Guardian, said motorcycle riders must go within specified driving limits.An expert on road safety issues, Patrick Adenusi said in a sane environment, motorcycles should not be a mode of public transportation, adding that the reason it is gaining grounds in Nigeria is because of our road usage attitude.
“If we use the road the way it should be used, there is no reason to spend the number of hours we spend on the road, then the need for motorcycles as a mode of alternative transport will not be there,” he said. Adenusi, who also doubles as the Director of advocacy, Safety beyond Borders, a non-governmental organisation, said: “If we have functional rail system, water transportation and our road usage are in order, there won’t be need for commercial motorcycle plying Nigerian roads especially in Lagos. They must be not necessarily regulated by government, the security aspect of it is key. In all of its operation, security is key.”
Adenusi said it is impressive that passengers wear their helmets, the group or company behind the e-hailing riding operations have thought of meeting safety standards. One common thing in Nigeria with the motorcycle riders is they wrong traffic lights.According to him, government had said motorcycles below 2cc are restricted from certain roads over 400 to 500 roads, but motorcycles that are 2cc and above can ply those roads.
“What they have done is that their motorcycles are beyond 2cc mode, which made them qualify to ply all roads. They have met the government rules, they haven’t violated that in terms of the capacity of the vehicles. But what they need to strictly do is to obey traffic rules,” he said.
On the issue of operating commercial motorcycles on Nigerian roads, the Lagos State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Hyginus Omeje, said the national road traffic standards is still intact, adding that motorcycle riders must wear a crash helmet, and must also ride with a retro-reflective jacket especially at night.
“They will not also carry more than one passenger and the passenger must also wear a crash helmet. Those regulations are still there. But Lagos also has its regulation, the state traffic law on the use of motorcycle on some certain roads.
“I know the law prohibits commercial motorcycle riders on certain routes with emphasis but those in the delivery services are exempted within that contest. Outside wearing crash helmet, he said every other rules and regulations that guides motorists to also applies to motorcycles rider. “There’s maximum speed limit that they must adhere to. There are also under obligations to obey traffic rules and signals. The idea of riding between two vehicles is also prohibited,” Omeje said.