Business Hilights
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Time for FRSC to consider driving, walking along with earpiece traffic offence

In the last few years, the number of accident victims traced to be wearing earpiece at the time of the accident has been on the rise.

Details and statistics show that out of 10 accidents on either highways or streets, about four have links with either the driver is wearing earpiece or the victim is on the device enjoying either music or news on the go.

Last week Thursday, a hope-filled member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in Lagos State was crushed to death by a train along the Ikeja-Along bus stop railway level crossing at about noon.

The female corps member who was attached to an organisation within the Ikeja Local Government Council Area and was said to have telephone earpiece attached to her two ears, immediately lost three of her fingers and suffered severely fractured bones.

Checks by Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU) showed that in 2015, a young man was knocked down using ear piece in Lagos. In September last year, a Nigerian, Benson Uchenna Nwughala was killed by train in Italy due blocked ears caused by wearing the device.

FRSC Oyeyemi
Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshall of FRSC

Also in March last year the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) warned that wearing of earpiece or Bluetooth device while on driving seat is punishable.

In Europe, when the trend in accidents involving use of ear devices rose exponentially, some countries invoked sanctions on arrested suspects.

In July 2015, students of University of Benin were banned from wearing earphones due to rising casualties from the accidents involving students of the institution on ear devices.

Opinion pool on the way out amongst Nigerian road users showed that majority voted for regulation of use of the device especially while walking or driving on the streets or highways.

According to them, use of earpiece while driving or walking along the road other than within ones working place or compound should be gazette as a traffic offence to curb the associated loss of lives.

In a telephone interview, the Lagos State NYSC Coordinator, Prince Mohammed Momoh, who had earlier announced that the corps member survived the accident, later called Business Hilights back to announce that she died at about 7 p.m. same day while receiving treatment at the intensive care unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTGH).

According to him, “We lost the corps member just now. I heard the neurosurgeon and the orthopedic doctors said they would conduct further investigations on her. But regrettably we lost her.

One issue of serious concern to habitual users of the earpiece device is that the State NYSC boss averred that on closer examination by the attending medical personnel, it was discovered that her two ears were blocked with earpiece.

He stressed that what can probably cause such a mishap was that she was playing a loud music that prevented her from heeding to the warning and loud horn from the moving train.

Business Hilights also gathered that a postdoctoral student of Economics at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) identified as Fatai Mutiu Abolade, who was receiving a phone call, was crushed by a train along Ikeja railway line about three weeks ago on the same spot.

Also in Abuja last week, an accident that happened along Jabi road was traced to have been caused by one of the affected car’s driver who was on earpiece as the device remained on him while lying dead on the steering.