PASDDA means “People Against Drunk Driving and Substance Abuse.” It is an advocacy against drunk driving and substance abuse which causes a lot of havoc on Nigerian roads. A lot of people don’t take drunk driving seriously, hence PASDDA is set up to raise awareness of the dangers of drunk driving and how it is wreaking havoc in Nigerian cities today and a majority of lives had been lost.
Drunk driving is a serious offense in most developed countries. This is because Western governments attach more importance to issues that affect people’s lives. Road transportation is one issue.
VISIONS FOR NIGERIA, in partnership with Road Safety in Kaduna State, had carried out some outreaches sensitizing the public to the dangers of drunk driving and its menace in our society.
Yes, we are aware of instances in which the Nigerian government expressed concern for the lives of its citizens. An instance was when Dora Akunyili fought against bogus medications. NAFDAC had a positive influence on containing the phony medicines threat. The Nigerian government may also protect its citizens by criminalizing drunk driving and enforcing harsh punishments. Road travel is still a preferred mode of transportation among Nigerians, who frequently travel.
Most drivers, both private and commercial, consume alcohol before driving. Even “okada riders” consume booze. Due to okada incidents, many people have lost their legs, limbs, etc. Alcohol may give drivers a buzz while driving, it can also cause drivers to have less concentration while driving. Above all, alcohol could cause drivers to take risks not minding the lives of the passengers they are carrying.
All rules against driving while intoxicated should be enforced by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and other law enforcement organizations. In the absence of legislation, the Federal Road Safety Commission should collaborate with key stakeholders and agencies to draft legislation that would make drunk driving and careless driving offenses that would be subject to harsh punishments. The Federal Road Safety Commission, the police, and other state law enforcement organizations should start using breathalyzer tests to enforce any drunk driving laws that are passed.
The term “breathalyzer” refers to a simple device or equipment that measures a driver’s breath alcohol content. In cases where a driver refuses to undergo a breathalyzer test, a blood sample may be obtained and examined at a lab. Nigeria can implement this technology because it is so straightforward. The technology used in Nigeria and by Nigerians is more advanced and meets international standards. The new foreign passport issuance system implemented by the Nigerian Immigration Services serves as one such. Prior to this, a proxy or absentee application may be made for a Nigerian international passport. The system has altered now. Nigerian banks, for instance, have practically the most recent information technology available in the private sector.
Consequently, it won’t be a great deal to introduce a breathalyzer to detect alcohol levels.
Several state governments that have transportation corporations, like Imo Transport Company (ITC) and others, can pass legislation making it illegal for their employees (drivers) to drive while intoxicated. They can perform routine breathalyzer tests on their drivers to check on them. Private transport companies like ABC Transport, Ekene Dili Chukwu, The Young Shall Grow, Chisco Transport, etc can subject their drivers to breathalyzer tests before allowing them to drive passengers. On the other hand, compelling drivers to breathalyzer tests could act as a marketing strategy for some private transport companies. Passengers’ patronage can be won when they see that drivers are subjected to alcohol tests.
Individual passengers should always bring up this matter with drivers or managers of various transportation businesses. In order to strike a balance, passengers should also insist on knowing whether or not their driver is intoxicated. This is also for the nation’s protection as well as for their own safety.
We shall experience further crises if no one can figure out how to alter the character of reckless and drunk driving in Nigeria. Accidents can be brought on by careless and inebriated driving. Accidents can ruin lives and result in fatalities. Losses from deaths affect our diverse families as well as the nation. A stitch in time saves nine, so to speak, and prevention is preferable to cure. Godspeed to Nigeria!
Featured in this write-up, is a picture taken during one of our outreaches against drunk driving in Kaduna.
If you would like to join hands with us and volunteer for the next outreach which will be coming up soon, please kindly fill out the volunteers’ form or send us a direct message to our email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LET’S JOIN HANDS IN MAKING NIGERIA A KINDER, GENTLER NATION!!