OPINION – The significance of road signs and traffic lights for safety on the road is undeniable on earth. Road signs and traffic lights have saved millions of lives around the world since the time of their invention. Millions of people on earth are alive and safe today as a result of road signs and traffic lights that help in the prevention of deadliest accidents on roads globally. Road signs and traffic lights were meant to be observe and to prevent many reckless fatal accidents on roads worldwide. They were not created for decoration and beautification of roads around the world. They were created for the safety of pedestrians and other road users earth wide.
However, in South Sudan, they’re massively disregard and many people pay zero attention to them. They’re seen to be unnecessary factors that cause delay on the road. They’re seen to be obstacles that hijack movement of people from one point to another in South Sudan. they’re view as insignificant and unreasonable to follow and obey them on South Sudan’s roads by some people. They’re seen by many pedestrians and motorists as unfair and boring hence many people pay nil attention to them. And that’s gravely dangerous for the safety on the roads. Furthermore, there’re many advantages of road signs and traffic lights on the roads.
Traffic signs give vital information about how far you’re from different places, when you want to turn on the streets. Traffic signs make traveling easy and less stressful on the road. Traffic signs have evolved so much over the decades and they’re not yet over. In fact, it’s a big area of invention as urban centers debate what changes they’d make to ensure road safety for motorists and pedestrians. Additionally, traffic signs keep pedestrians and drivers safe on the road. Driver safety is the top benefit of traffic signs. Without traffic signs on the roads, then, there’ll be many accidents. Motorists and pedestrians will have no idea when they’ll stop, yield or move fast.
They’d not be aware about upcoming obstacles on the road. Moreover, the lack of road signs would give reckless drivers freedom to do what they want hence putting themselves and other road users in danger. Traffic signs make the rules clear and keep other users in safety. In addition to that, traffic signs don’t solely safeguard those behind the wheels of cars. Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists use the road as well. So traffic signs help folks to know when and where they can cross a road and alert other road users of their presence. Pedestrians and cyclists can detect where they’re allowed, where the bike’s path is and if they should yield to other road users or not.
Moreover, when people follow the rules; everyone can share spaces safely. Additionally, traffic lights are sets of red, amber and green lights at places where roads meet. They help to control the traffic by signaling when road users have to stop and when they should go. Traffic lights are extremely crucial in the prevention of accidents when follow and obey on the roads. However, according to Annual Road Crash Statistics globally, approximately 1.35 million folks die in road crashes annually; on average 3,700 people lose their lives every day on the roads. An additional 20-50 million suffer non-fatal injuries, always culminating in long-term disabilities in people on earth. Moreover, in U.S. on average, there’re six million car accidents in the country yearly. That’s roughly 16,438 daily. Of the above, 22,471 caused solely property damage. Over 37,000 Americans die in automobile accidents annually. Additionally, in South Sudan, road accidents statistics according to the recent WHO information published in 2018; road accidents and deaths reached 3,829 or 3.47% of total deaths. The age adjusted death rate is 39.81 per 100,000 of population and which ranks South Sudan number 16 in the world. There’re many factors that contributes to road accidents and deaths and they include; breaking traffic rules, over speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, bad road condition, not wearing seat belt, tailgating and distracted driving which is very common in South Sudan. You can see someone is driving while holding a phone in one hand communicating. Others are also busy chatting and replying messages on social media while driving.
Others are busy changing music in the cars and also drinking, eating while driving and when any careless accident occur, they’ll be the first to claim right before the traffic police even determine who’s right and who’s wrong. They’ll be the first to put the blame on the other person even if they’re guilty. In South Sudan, it is very common to see someone who has cause an accident on the road using threats, intimidation, abuse, fights and noise to silent the other driver who’s innocent.
Every human has a right to safety on the road in South Sudan; either rich, poor, big or small, crazy, deaf, citizen, foreigner, literate, illiterate, ugly, beautiful, black, white, brown or even colorless. All human lives are equal before God, safety and death on earth. Additionally, we’ve seen how boda-boda riders drive on the roads in South Sudan. they drive as if they’ve many lives; each boda-boda rider drive as if he has double lives, one moving with him on the road and the other reserve at home. They drive as if they’re on a suicide mission. They play with life, safety and death. They pay zero focus to safety on the roads and I wonder why they do such thing yet life itself is precious and unrenewable.
Once it is lost, then it has gone entirely. Boda-boda riders need to be politely remind that millionaires and billionaires have perished in many road accidents around the world and have left behind their riches and not even a single penny was buried with them in their graves. And that at the point of death, everything loses meaning; riches, money, social status and wisdom. Money is only sweetest when you’ve life, good health and safety on earth. You can’t enjoy money if you’re in cemetery. I’ll rather chose a 100 years over a trillion dollars if given a choice to select one among the two.
Finally, I urge the government, cities’ councils and road construction companies to make roads signs and traffic lights on the roads and enforce tough penalties on violators. With the ongoing construction of roads in the country, there’ll be many highways coming up and road accidents will be common in the future if there’re no tough laws in South Sudan. Construction companies need to also construct pedestrian overpasses, underpasses, road humps and zebra crossing points in Juba city to minimize accidents. They should also plant trees along the roads. Trees minimize accidents as well. Juba City Council need to ensure that all traffic lights are operational around the city. There is a need for serious awareness to the public about road safety to avoid lives been lost through needless road accidents in South Sudan.
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