• Criminalizing poor vehicle Maintenance Attitude

    Posted on: September 2nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

    Just last week, I witnessed a commercial Mazda bus’ left rear tyre pull off from the wheel hub assembly; fortunately, the vehicle wasn’t moving too quickly at approximately 50-60km/hr and the bus headed towards the right end of the bridge till it came to a halt owing to the tremendous frictional force between the brake drum (of the affected wheel) and the road surface. If the driver was driving the bus any faster or swerved in a frightened manner, I can assure you that we would have heard news  about a fatal accident along Lagos-Ibadan expressway involving more than 18 persons with almost no one surviving. This is one out of so many incidences of avoidable accidents causing death in numbers. The point am trying to make here is that lives have been lost because of the carelessness and reluctance of vehicle owners to spend on their cars and carry out the basic required maintenance. The bus incident here was simply caused by very loose bearings connected to the main drive-shafts off this rear-wheeled drive vehicle; apparently due to negligence on the part of the commercial bus driver and/or owner.

    accident

    Photo-credit: georgeosodi.photoshelter.com

    Scenarios of this kind prompted me to finally write about this and what government can do to curb this menace. I have always been an advocate of Nigerian and Africans as a whole upholding a proper vehicle maintenance culture; in the light of the reality before us I feel the only way out here is government taking a firm stand by creating new laws which will unequivocally ‘force’ the larger chunk of  the Nigerian motoring  populace to start imbibing proper vehicle maintenance culture if they deem it important to own a car.

    So what kind of laws am I suggesting? The answer to this question is criminalizing certain poor vehicle maintenance attitudes, especially the ones that are most likely to lead to fatal accidents. These laws should be enforced by the police. Defaulting vehicle owners should be jailed or heavily fined and in some cases, the option of auctioning these vehicles should be welcome. Nigerians over time have shown that they need a heavy hand and I think the government should do just that. Since MOT centres and V.I.O (vehicle inspection office) are not as effective as anticipated, I feel this is the only way out.

    The economic benefits of this move will be enormous and basically we will have fewer scraped vehicles plying Nigerian roads. Some of the areas worth considering are:

    1)Bearings/wheel hubs assembly

    2)Tie-rods(steering arms)

    3)Ball joints

    4)Brake pads

    It’s high time government took a stand to reduce the spate of road accidents. The downside of laws like these is the inevitable abuse by unscrupulous police officers who might see this as another means of ripping motorist off. But on the brighter side, it will make motorist more aware of their responsibilities as vehicle owners.

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