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Enforcing the use of pedestrian bridges

By Nelson Ekujumi, Lagos
25 December 2009   |   12:17 pm
SIR: I am compelled because of my concern as a patriotic citizen to call the attention of the Lagos State Government to the urgent need to enforce the full implementation of the law against lawless citizens who have criminally resolved to commit suicide by crossing the highway at the expense of the modern and 21st century pedestrian bridges constructed with public funds by the government of Lagos. On a regular basis, lawless citizens get knocked down by vehicles just because they have chosen to run across the roads instead of using the bridges constructed for such purpose and the cost on the society is enormous. On December 22, 2009 at exactly 2.02 p.m., I witnessed an accident which almost claimed the life of a middle-aged man who was knocked down by a car just about five metres from the pedestrian bridge at Onipanu on Ikorodu road.

The pain I felt seeing the almost lifeless body of the man who was flung against the road divider by the impact of his body against the car is better imagined. This is due to the fact that if by God’s grace this man survives, at least for the time being his role as the bread winner of his family is suspended and one can imagine the financial cost apart from the psychological trauma his family as well as the driver of the car that knocked him down would have gone through during this period. This is an accident that could have been prevented if only he had used the pedestrian bridge constructed to facilitate movement across the expressway.

This lawless attitude by some Nigerians is very rampant at major bus stops in the Lagos metropolis most especially where we have pedestrian bridges and one wonders what manner of people are these who would toy with their lives by running across the expressway when the government has performed its legitimate duty of protection of lives by constructing pedestrian bridges with scarce material resources.

Another painful dimension to this episode is that unlike the former pedestrian bridges that were more like markets due to the traders’ pressure there, the new bridges that have been constructed by the Lagos State Government discourages trading and it is also fitted with lightings and manned 24 hours by security personnel. The sight of people running across the roads where we have pedestrian bridges is nauseating and an eyesore.

I only hope the Lagos State Government would immediately put in place measures to restore sanity to our mega city by bringing the full weight of the law against pedestrian bridges violators now. We cannot continue with this irresponsible waste of human lives.