CI.1.7. Road safety

 ROAD SAFETY

Meaning of signs
Roads are the hard surfaces built to travel on. There are three type of roads in Tanzania. These are earth roads, gravel roads and tarmac roads.
Many times we read or hear about road accidents. It is important that road users take care to avoid road accidents. Roads users are motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Road signs are also known as traffic signs. There are signs near the road that give information or instruction to road users.
There are three types of road signs. These are warning signs, order signs and information signs.
The warning and information given by these signs guides to directs the road users on how to uses the road safely.

Interpretations of road signs
Road signs carry messages to road users through symbols, shapes and colors.
Symbols
These are signs which give warnings, orders, information or direction and temporary conditions.

1.       Warnings
These signs warn the road users on dangerous or unusual condition ahead.
2.       Orders
These signs order the driver to follow the given directions.
3.       Information and direction
These signs give information to the road users

Shapes
The three types of roads signs are enclosed in different shapes. These shapes help road users to interpret the signs quickly.
Color
There are different colors which are used with road signs. Each color carries its own meaning to road users. Below are some colors used with road signs.

Color and its Meaning

1.       Red – Used for “stop”, “do not enter” and to show something wrong..
2.       Amber – Used for warnings.
3.       Green – Used for “go” and to give guidance and information.
4.       Blue – Used for signs that give information.

Importance of road signs
1.       They make users aware of what is ahead.
2.       They direct road users on what to do.
3.       They help to minimize accidents since the road users are guided to make the right moves.
4.       They help road users use the road safely.
If all road users obey the road signs, there will be fewer accidents.

Importance of obeying road signs
Failure to obey road signs results in road accidents.  Accidents claims life of people and animals. Property is also damaged resulting in losses to the owners. Sometimes motor vehicles are damaged beyond repair. People may get permanent injuries in the loss of their capacity to work and be productive treating the injured persons in hospital is expensive to the government and to the family concerned.

Some benefits of obeying road signs are:
1.       It prevents loss of life due to careless use of roads.
2.       It minimizes road accidents.
3.       It prevents damage to property.
4.       It cuts government and personal costs of treating the injured.
5.       It reduces traffic jams on the roads.

Causes of road accidents
The following are some causes of road accidents:
1.       Reckless drivers who drive without caring about other road users. Driving recklessly cause the driver to lose control of his or her vehicle.
2.       Lack of road safety education for the road users.
3.       Poor road conditions. Many roads have potholes which make driving difficult and unsafe.
4.       Some drivers do not put the triangle warning sign when their vehicle break down on the road, as the result other road users are not warned to be in good time about the stalled vehicle.
5.       Some vehicles are defective. They should be removed from the vehicle until they are repaired.
6.       Some drivers do not have valid driving licenses for the vehicle they drive. For example, a driver whose license is for class “C” (that is, for tractors) should not drive the passenger service vehicle unless he or she get the proper license.
7.       Some pedestrians do not obey road safety rules. They cross the road without paying attention to on-coming vehicles.
8.       Some drivers do not obey road signs.
9.       Some roads are narrow. If a vehicle has a mechanical problems and it is stalls in the middle of the road, it may cause accidents especially when the other vehicle are moving at high speed.
10.    Driving while drunk is also the cause of road accidents as the driver does not have full control on his or her senses. He or she cannot control the vehicle properly.
11.    Some vehicle owners overload the vehicle. This make difficult to steer the vehicle.

Consequences of road accidents
Accidents have negative effects on people and property. Some of the effects of road accidents are:
1.       Permanent disabilities.
2.       Human beings and livestock die due to severe injuries suffered during roads accidents.
3.       People lose their commodities when transporting them from one place to another
4.       Vehicles are damaged.
5.       The public and private lose productive workers due to death or disabilities resulting from road accidents.
6.       Large amount of money is spent in treating road accident victims and in the repairing or replacing damaged properties.
7.       Travelers are delayed when accident occur.
8.       Children become orphans when their parents die in accidents, resulting in a lot of suffering of children. Some of children end up as street children.

Prevention of road accidents
The police traffic records have given us a picture of problem of road accidents in Tanzania. Measures must be taken to prevent accidents in order to prevent such a distressing statistics in the future.
The following are some of the way of preventing road accidents:
1.       All road users must be given proper education on road safety so that they are careful when using the roads. This is the duty of government, all traffic control concerned and the society.
2.       Driving license should be issued to qualified people only.
3.       Roads must be maintained properly.
4.       Vehicle must be inspected before they are licensed to be driven on roads. Public service vehicles should be inspected regularly.
5.       Reckless and drunk drivers should be punished according to the law. Strictly laws that are properly laws that are properly enforced will discourage drivers from driving recklessly.
6.       Unqualified drivers should not drive.
7.        The disabled, children and the elders should be helped to cross roads.
8.       Vehicle owners must regularly service their vehicle to ensure they are roadworthy.
9.       Drivers who overload their vehicles must be punished according to the law.
10.    Road signs should be put on the roads.
11.    Defective motor vehicles must not be allowed on the roads.

Chapter summary
Roads are hard surfaces built for vehicle to travel on. There are three types of roads: earth roads, gravel roads, tarmac roads.
Road signs are signs near the road that give information or instruction to the road users.
Road signs carry massages for road users through symbols, shapes and colors.
The following are some causes of road accidents:
1.       Reckless driving.
2.       Lack of road safety education
3.       Poor road conditions
4.       Defective vehicles.
5.       Invalid driving licenses
6.       Some drivers do not obey road signs.

Accidents have negative effects on people and property. Some of the effects of road accidents are:
1.       Permanent disabilities.
2.       Vehicles are damaged.
3.       Travelers are delayed.
4.       Increased number of orphaned children.

The following are some ways of preventing road accidents:
1.       All users must be given proper education.
2.       Driving license should be issued to qualified people only.
3.       Vehicle must be inspected before they are licensed to be driven on the roads.
4.       Road signs should be put the roads

SHERE

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