Evaluating Effectiveness of Federal Road Safety Commission Training and Education Programmes for Commercial Vehicle Drivers in Jigawa State, Nigeria

By Ibrahim, Abdul-Wahab | Ife Psychologia, March 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Evaluating Effectiveness of Federal Road Safety Commission Training and Education Programmes for Commercial Vehicle Drivers in Jigawa State, Nigeria


Ibrahim, Abdul-Wahab, Ife Psychologia


Public driving in Nigeria is a difficult task. It is fraught with many commercial vehicle drivers whose characters are anti-road safety. For instance, anti-road safety behaviours such as random change of lanes, driving under the influence of intoxicants like alcohol and drugs, disobedience to traffic signals coupled with traffic management officials being eschewed by drivers are daily occurrence on Nigerian roads and highways. As a matter of fact, most drivers drive without necessarily going through the driving school or at most pass through unregistered driving school. Hence, driver training and education has remained largely at the informal level. Majority of drivers especially those operating public transport acquire the skills through apprenticeship system. This is because they are mostly illiterates who cannot cope with formal driver training. This, therefore, is the bane of public transportation and thus the root cause of the poor driving culture in the country.

According to Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) (2012), it is generally acknowledged that Nigeria has poor driving culture. This is evidenced by the utter disregard by operators for traffic laws underlined by deep belief by Nigerians that accidents are acts of God, while punishments for traffic offences can be waived through negotiation or amicable settlement. Education is about the only instrument that can be used to change people's behaviour and attitudes.

Similarly, Onuka and Akinyemi (2012) observed that one of the objectives of the commission is to educate road users most especially drivers on the importance of road discipline and proper use of roads and highways. The public enlightenment unit of the FRSC is charged with this responsibility. To achieve this objective, several strategies have been used and are still being used by the FRSC public education officers to educate road users in general and drivers in particular on the rules guiding road usage and the consequences of flagrant disobedience of traffic rules and regulations. These strategies include: organization of workshop/seminars/lectures and drivers' improvement courses, carrying out rallies at motor parks, literacy campaigns inculcating in the road users the knowledge of the highway traffic code, playing of jingles on radios and televisions among others (Sani, 2005).

In compliance with the provision of its Act, the FRSC is working on the establishment of some Standard Model Driving Schools, while also finalizing the modalities for accreditation of driver training providers in the country. Consequently, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), in partnership with Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) has prepared standard curriculum for the driving schools. Possession of driving school certificate is now to be part of the requirement for issuance of driver licence in the country. But the current efforts are still limited in scope and coverage. The focus is mainly on the operators leaving out other vulnerable groups such as children, students, pedestrians, the elderly and physically challenged. For effective safety measures, these groups of road users must receive safety education for the evolvement of a safe national driving culture (Okafor et al., 2014).

As above, there is no doubt that, FRSC, has in the last few years accorded due recognition to public awareness in its safety efforts. It has embarked on aggressive campaigns targeted at various groups (drivers, market women, students and pupils, and fleet operators) among others. They also sponsor television and radio adverts and jingles, and organize other public relation programmes. They are also partnering with stakeholder organisations such as Arrive Alive Road Safety Initiative (AARSI) to pursue and prosecute safety campaigns. Recently, the FRSC declared an Enforcement Patrol Free Week to carry out massive campaigns distributing handbills, safety pamphlets and posters to road users across the country. On the whole, illiteracy remains a major hindrance to the success of the campaigns. …

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