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‘OKADA’ TRAFFICATOR ACCIDENT CAUSATION – A CASE OF OWO CITY, ONDO STATE, NIGERIA
Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology, and
I. B. Ologunagba
Department of Civil Engineering Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo
This paper examines the practices of some selected transport motorcycles popularly known as ‘Okada’ in Nigeria. 41% of the motorbikes examined are Yamaha model, while 40.80% are Suzuki. Other models in the samples are Nanfang, Kawasaki, Vesper, Lady machine, Honda, Jawar, and Starung. The research findings reveal that 34.4% motorcycle trafficated by light, 38% trafficated by hand, while 27.60% could not trafficate at all. This explains why ‘okada’ accident is so rampant in Owo City especially at cross road junctions. The research further shows that 50% of the lady machines examined could not trafficate while the corresponding percentages for Yamaha and Suzuki are 36.34% and 37.50% respectively. The paper therefore advocated vigilance on the part of the traffic police officers stationed at the cross roads in the city especially at the main junctions.
Keywords:- Trafficator, Okada, Accident, Causation .
It was in the early eighty’s that the use of motorbike as a means of commercial transport became popular in Nigeria. It erupted in Benin City, the capital city of Edo State. The name “Okada” evolved from Okada Air Line (OAL), owned by Igbenedion, a native of Okada village, via Benin City. The man named his Air Line after his village. When there was transportation problem in Benin City, the motorbike took over. Initially people were very reluctant to patronize the motorbike. The motorbike owners in an attempt to persuade their passengers about its effectiveness as a fast and easy means of transport, would tell them that it is ‘Okada’ (i.e. like Okada Air Line). Thus Okada was being figuratively used. Eventually this means of commercial transport spread to the East and West and to the rest of the country.
The central focus of this paper is the vehicular factor, which is purely the technical and mechanical aspect. The vehicular factor is sometimes an elusive factor (Ojo, 2008,). Many researchers do believe that most traffic accidents are either caused by road environment or human characteristics with little or no emphasis on the vehicular characteristics, especially the transffication aspect. In recognition of the problems traceable to vehicle road unworthiness as a factor in accident causation, the various governments of the federation have engaged, for this purpose, the services of the vehicle inspection officers (VIO’s). The VIOs are expected to carry out periodic tests and inspections on motor vehicles and motorbikes especially on quarterly basis to ascertain their road worthiness.
The researcher and his agents in conjunction with some V.I.O’s in the state stationed themselves in strategic places in the city during the peak periods of the days and observed, checked and interviewed the motorcycle drivers. The sample consists of one thousand (1000) motorcycles
Descriptions of the Peripheral Vehicle Components
Brake light (BL) is used so that any vehicle coming behind will be aware of the intention of the vehiclein front. Without the brake light, the oncoming vehicle can run into the vehicle ahead, leading to head to tail collision.
Reverse light (RL) is used to inform people or vehicles behind of the intention that a particular vehicle is reversing so that they can give way. Without the reverse light there will be tail to tail or tail to head collision or injury on people who may be at the rear position of the vehicle.
Parking light (PL) this helps to inform the oncoming vehicle that a standby or stationary vehicle is present at that particular location.
Head light (HL) functions to lighten the road especially at night so that obstructions, bumps and obstacles could be avoided. Secondly, it is equally employed for the purpose of informing vehicles coming in the opposite direction of the presence of vehicle so that they will give way. Vehicles with only one headlamp constitute problems as they cause other vehicles and road users to mistake them for motorcycles.
Table 1: Analysis by Model (Population Table)
Source: Field survey
Table 2: Analysis by Model (Percentage Table)
Source: Field survey
TH – Traffication by hand
TL - Tranffication by light
NT – No Tranffication
Figure1.0: Bar-chart showing the machine models and the corresponding numbers that trafficate by light
Figure 2.0: Bar-chart showing the machine models and the corresponding numbers that trafficate by using hand
Figure3.0: Bar-chart showing the machine models and the corresponding numbers that failed to trafficate
1,000 motorbikes were studied; the most common motorbike in the city is the Yamaha model with the population percentage of 41% closely followed by the Suzuki model with population percentage of 40.80%. The least common is the starung with the population percentage of 0.02%. Table 2 shows that while 35.54% of Suzuki trafficated by ordinary hand, 21.71 of Yamaha follow suit. 37.50% Suzuki had no trafficator while the corresponding value for Yamaha was 36.34%.
The possibility of motorcycle accident occurring due to lack of transffication is 0.276 while the possibility of similar accident due to lack of proper traffication is 0.656 = 0.66 (i.e. 0.38 + 0.276). This is very high, since the value is more than half. It shows that about seven motorcycles in every ten are liable to traffic accident due to lack of proper traffication.
The research finding shows that the percentage of the motorbikes without proper traffication is too high with high tendency of traffic accident especially at the road junctions and cross roads. Yamaha and Suzuki motorcycles were more responsible for this violation and offence. This research confirms why most motorbike accidents in the city are always at the road junctions and cross roads and common with Suzuki and Yamaha machines.
The authors strongly recommend that the government traffic law enforcement agencies such as the Nigerian Police, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Vehicle Inspection Officers (V.I.O’s) in Owo command should be more vigilant, especially on the motorcycles, to ensure that the lighting among other things are in place so that the accident rate in the city will be minimized.
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