Stop Sign? - Reportgist

Stop Sign?

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S top. I mean stop. Yes, I am talking about the stop sign. It is perhaps one of our roads’ most popular and colorful signs. It is also one sign that motorists irrespective of class, education, sex or even driving experience obey.It is a simple four-worded instruction.The instruction is majorly to drivers but ideally to all users of the road, including pedestrians.>>>CONTINUE FULL READING HERE

The stop sign is a regulatory sign that gives instructions that are prohibitive in nature. There are other signs such as the informative sign and the mandatory sign. Today, my focus is on the stop sign which is one of the regulatory sign. As a regulatory sign ,the stop sign is a traffic control device that if it is obeyed, has the capacity to reduce road traffic crashes as well as hit and run cases involving Pedestrians and other exposed road users such as cyclists among others.

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The sign warns drivers to slow down and prepare to stop. It is used when at the end of a line of traffic, at junctions among others

The stop sign shape is an octagon, characterized by its eight sides and red color with white lettering. This design universally signifies that drivers must come to a complete stop and only proceed when the path is clear and safe. Drivers must therefore stop at the stop line, crosswalk, or intersection, whichever they encounter first. The driver must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and approaching vehicles before proceeding. The driver should only proceed when it is safe to do so.

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I am sure you are wondering why I am concerned about the stop sign after series of promises to focus on signs as a guide to our teeming road users.Let me start addressing your puzzle with tow experiences;the first is my experience on Sunday,30th June 2024 in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory while the second is a 2007 experience is far away South Africa.

Let me start with the Abuja experience of 30th June,2024.This experience puzzled me although it is one that I am too familiar with especially in cities such as Abuja with its status symbol as seat of government as well as other cities within the country such as Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna, Enugu just to mention a few.

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On the said day, I left Church located close to NAF Centre, just after the Next Cash and Carry Supermarket.Being the last Sunday in the month of June, I spent time giving testimony to God Almighty for showing me His tender mercies as well as thanking Him for all that has been accomplished in the month of June.For those who have a relationship with God, thanksgiving or thanksliving is one of the best way to set God on the path of amazing favours and more of His faithfulness.I therefore thrilled after service and left Church in that excitement.

Being a Sunday when my driver usually rest after a week of my stress, I was driving and as usual observing traffic mannerism, especially by vehicles driven mostly by people returning from Sunday service as Christains. Between the NAF Centre at Kado and Discovery Mall at Wuse 2 where I was heading, I passed through at least seven functional traffic lights with visible traffic signs.

At each traffic signs, just before the stop lines and zebra crossings were boldly written ‘STOP’.At each of these traffic light points, I counted between five to ten vehicles that never obeyed. Besides obeying, most of these vehicles ran foul of the simple safety precaution for themselves and other road users as they displayed sheer ignorance.Almost all of them did not even obey the simple rule of stopping before the STOP sign. If you are still not puzzled by this experience, maybe the findings that nine out of ten cars were not rickety cars, will.They were not Abuja coloured taxis.Neither were they kabu kabu as we commonly refer to unpainted cabs.The implication is that the people driving were knowledgeable drivers whose level of exposure should dictate otherwise.

Now ,let me share another experience that should hurt your emotions as a Nigerian.This experience happened in 2007.I was priviledged to be invited to visit South Africa for the second time by a friend who felt that was his way of encouraging me to do more in my commitment to save lives through robust public awareness campaigns.The mission was to attend a road safety training programme in Cape Town which today is my favourite city not just in Africa but across the world because of its serenity.

After series of lectures, we embarked on a tour of some black neighbohood settlement where road traffic crashes were reportedly on the rise and where some effective interventions had been put in place to redress the trend.We arrived the settlement and saw how by simply applying two strategic interventions, road traffic crashes were curtailed.

The two interventions were the erection of stop signs as well as the introduction of speed bumps to cut excessive speeding which was identified as one of the causative factor as well as driving under the influence of alcohol. To my amazement, one of the two interventions was a carryover of what was obtainable at all the roads including feeder roads or even streets in settlements. At all of these roads, STOP signs were visibly erected at every junction to control recklessness and impatience.

Remember that the second pillar of the UN Decade of Action spells out the need to improve the safety of road networks for the benefit of all road users, especially the most vulnerable: pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Despite the current efforts of Nigerian government to fix our roads, I think we can do more in improving road signages on Nigerian roads. My worry is not whether they are adequate or inadequate ,or bastardized by hawkers and villagers. I worry that a good number of Nigerians who drive are ignorant of road signs. Secondly, even those who claim be to educated, lettered, exposed and experienced in driving don’t obey these simple rules that are put in place to ensure smooth and safe traffic flow. If you are a resident of the Federal Capital Territory, maybe now you have a better picture why early Saturday mornings and late Fridays have become road traffic crash-prone days all because of the madness displayed by drivers, especially young and mobile Nigerians with cash to spend and a penchant to disregard traffic rules.

It is common for us to lament over the state of our roads and the inadequacy of road furniture. Strictly speaking, how many of us truly comply with the ‘inadequate’ signs that we have? As a Christian, the Bible says that he that is faithful in little will be faithful in much. What moral justification do we have to complain about inadequate signs when we rarely obey the ‘scanty’ ones we have.>>>CONTINUE FULL READING HERE

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