By Sunday Iduh
Traffic management is the organization, arrangement, guidance and control of stationary and moving traffic, including vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Proper traffic management gives room for safe and orderly movement of persons and goods while also striving to protect quality of the local environment.
In order to ensure sanity on the roads, the Benue State House of Assembly recently passed the Benue State Road Traffic Management Authority Bill.
It is gladdening to note that the traffic authority will generate revenue and create employment for our teeming youths. What is equally important is the fact that road traffic management and control is on the concurrent legislative list. This explains why some states like Lagos, Enugu, Ogun, among others have similar authorities
It is however, clear that the authority will neither compete nor duplicate the services of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), the Motor Traffic Division (MTD) of the Nigerian Police and the Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS). Rather, the authority will complement other agencies as the extant laws finely delineate the boundaries of the various agencies handling road traffic control and management in the state and Nigeria.
The Benue State Road Traffic Management Authority is to take care of road traffic administration and management. The authority is a parastatal under the Ministry of Works and Transport, charged with the traffic matters with a system of operations that makes it responsive to the demands of traffic and to ease congestion, reduce travel delay, improve access to commerce and industry, redirect traffic, improve the environment, protect and enhance safety of all road users and enhance sustainable system in Benue State.
As a body charged with the administration, control and management of road traffic matters with a system of operations that is responsive to the demands of traffic, it also has the power to improve conditions for exposed road users, protect and enhance safety of all road users.
The staff shall adopt several operational techniques in actualizing their statutory functions. These ranges from public enlightenment, field patrol (operations), traffic patrol, vehicle apprehension, arrest of lawless drivers to prosecution, researches, towing of break down or accident vehicles among others. Members of the public shall be enlightened and educated on the importance of good traffic culture and discipline. These shall be done through motor park rallies or on the highways, use of flyers, or hand bills, posters, radio jingles, television, newspapers, symposia, public lectures, training programmes or when drivers are apprehended for violating traffic laws; in this case, they are seated down and enlightened before they shall be allowed to pay their fines.
The authority will restore sanity and safety to road traffic management and control on Benue roads. The implementation of the bill, which has provision for the establishment of Bus Stops, will also reinforce the smooth operation of traffic lights that were recently reintroduced in strategic locations of our urban centres.
The state’s financial status at the moment is a challenge. However, the Executive is encouraged to put machinery in motion for the take off of the traffic authority so that Benue can begin to enjoy the benefits.