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Motorists, Pedestrians Urge Review Of Laws Guiding Use Of Siren On Highways

Motorists and pedestrians in Bauchi, Borno, Adamawa, Gombe and Jigawa states have called for a review of the rules and regulations guiding the use of Siren on highways to curb abuse.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the misuse of siren by both authorised and unauthorised persons had become a source of concern to law abiding citizens.

They noted that apart from causing accidents, such abuse sometimes constituted ‘noise pollution’ with all its attendant health and environmental implications.

Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, Bauchi State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), described as ‘sheer madness’, the indiscriminate blaring of siren by some privileged individuals and in some instances, even criminals.

Adamu said that his members and pedestrians had fallen victims of such unruly behaviour on the highways.

He said although the use of sirens was introduced with good intention, especially in times of emergencies, the instrument was being used in most cases, to display status symbol.

Alhaji Abdullahi Wakili, Secretary, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Bauchi, noted with dismay that convoys of VIPs were the worst culprits.

According to him, siren-blaring convoys driving dangerously on congested highways often forced other vehicles to either stop or clear off the road in a manner that exposed law-abiding road users to hazards.

He said that pedestrians, especially school children, were daily subjected to constant harassment by users of siren.

Mallam Usman Kazube, a pedestrian resident in Bauchi, observed with dismay, the abuse of siren especially within the metropolis.

Kazube said sometimes drivers of vehicles blaring siren were not under emergency situation but simply switched on the gadget to displace other road users.

He, therefore, called for the review of rules and regulations guiding the use of siren to curb its abuse.

In Gombe state, the Chairman of the NURTW in the state,
Malam Ibrahim Bala, said the abuse of siren in the state was alarming,

He said most times, siren-blaring convoys never obeyed traffic rules, including traffic lights.

“They do not care about traffic whenever they come; they will do all they could to beat the traffic and go,” he noted.

He, therefore, urged the authorities concerned to take steps toward checking the abuse.

Also speaking, Mr Abayomi Omiyale, Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Gombe State, said those that abused the siren belonged to organisations that were `immune’ to traffic penalty.

According to him, most times, they create false sense of emergency and in their effort to outsmart other motorists, cause serious crashes,” he said.

Omiyale regretted that the rate of abuse of siren in the state was very high.

In Jigawa, however, the Sector Comander of FRSC in the state, Mr Osa Osadebamwe, said the abuse of the instrument was minimal there.

“There is no siren abuse in Jigawa since there is no congestion on the roads in the state.

“The reason is obvious because those entitled to use siren, like governors and the rest, do so where there is congestion,’’ he said.

On his part, the Jigawa Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Malam Muhammad Gidado, noted that some individuals or those who were not entitled to the use of siren had now resorted to using it.

“Take for example, operators of Private Guards Companies (PGCs) using siren simply because they are security providers,’’ he said.

However, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Usman Tilli, said the command would henceforth prosecute anyone found misusing siren in the state.

Some residents of Yola, Adamawa, however, blamed the police for the abuse, observing that no effort was being made to check the excesses of those involved, such as banks and some influential personalities in the society.

Mr Elam David, Adamawa Head of Operation, Vehicles Inspection Unit, who also spoke on alarming abuse of siren in the state capital, said his unit could only enlighten the public and nothing else.

Similarly, Mr Muhammed Kaigama, the Head of Operation, Adamawa Command of the FRSC, said that there was need for National and State Assemblies to review the law regulating the use of siren.

Kaigama said that the state command was conducting a survey on the number of personalities using siren across the state.

He said that the outcome of the survey would help them in checking the abuse of siren in the state.

Mrs Tina Phineas, a Yola resident and public commentator, advised that the use of siren should be restricted to the President, Vice President, Senate President and State Governors, only.
A cross section of Borno residents also expressed concern over the abuse of the siren, saying they were the worst affected due to the security challenges in the state.

Alhaji Lawal Ma-aji, a businessman at the Gamboru market, said that the abuse was most common with the security operatives.

“The issue of siren abuse has become a common occurrence in the state, especially with the advent of the Boko Haram terrorism.

Comrade Danjuma Idris, a federal civil servant, said the incessant abuse of siren had created trauma among residents, an observation subscribed to by Mrs Laraba Hamza, a health worker.

“Many people have developed ailments like high blood pressure due to constant siren abuse but nobody gets to hear about it because they are poor.

“Sometimes, it is when they report to the hospital for ailment that we detect that they are already suffering from the ailment.

“Sometimes, siren abuse has caused preventable road accidents as motorists struggle to give way to the siren-blowing trucks or vehicles,” Hamza said.
She called on the authorities concerned to take action on the problem.

However, Mr Victor Isuku, the Public Relations Officer of Borno Police Command, said that the police had not received any complaint on illegal use of siren in the state.

“I do know that we have law disallowing illegal use of siren; there is a standing order on the blowing of siren.

“We do not allow illegal use of siren, except in emergency cases,” Isuku said.

Senior military personnel in Maiduguri who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, said soldiers blew siren on major highways for security reasons, especially in view of the activities of insurgents.

Also speaking on the issue, Alhaji Abdulkadir Najume, Borno Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said that the law banning illegal use of siren was still in force in the state.

Najume said only governors, ministers and other heads of security agencies were allowed to use siren. (NAN)

The post Motorists, Pedestrians Urge Review Of Laws Guiding Use Of Siren On Highways appeared first on Nigerian News from Leadership News.

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