All is now set for the first horn-free day in Lagos, southwest Nigeria,as the Lagos State Government is deploying 1,000 officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, and the Vehicles Inspection Service, VIS, to monitor compliance of motorists during the exercise.
On Wednesday, which is the horn-free day, all motorists going through the routes in Lagos State are not expected to horn while driving their vehicles throughout the day.
In the last two months, sensitisation has been ongoing to inform motorists about the need to observe the horn-free day in a bid to reduce noise pollution in the state.
Already, the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, have been sensitised and they have in turn sensitised their members to abide by the horn-free day and ensure that they do not horn throughout the day.
The union has printed banners and fliers which have been displayed in strategic places for their members to see as well as warn members not to horn tomorrow. Jingles and sensitisation in the media have been ongoing while advocacy visits as well as partnership with organisations.
Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, said all is set for the first ever horn-free day in Nigeria.
“What we want members of the public to do on their own part is to avoid the use of the horn, siren as much as they can. What we want them to do is to be tolerant, cautious, patient and be road user-friendly and obey traffic rules and regulations. By the time they do all these, they will have done all that we want them to do.
“There will be 1,000 LASTMA and Vehicle Inspection Personnel on the roads monitoring the horn. They will have a paper and take record of honkings by every motorist while driving and that will give us the level of effect on whether it has reduced or not,” he said.
The commissioner was optimistic that commercial vehicle owners would comply with the horn-free day as they had been carried along through sensitisation and other means.
“Look, private vehicle owners have not brought out their banners to sensitise the public, danfo (mini bus) drivers have. Private vehicle owners are busy twitting us telling us about their readiness while the danfo drivers are busy communicating with their people on the need to comply with the directive.
“All our drivers are safe. It is true that when they drive yellow buses they tend to behave otherwise, but believe me, we have done a lot to change their attitude. As soon as we get the uniform for them, people will see that they are nice people. It is just that sometimes when people get out to the street they get agitated, stressed-out and allow the condition to influence their behaviour. They drive for six to seven hours, they believe they need to be in a hurry to make money. By the time we fully normalise this sector much more will happen,” he said.
Opeifa said the horn-free initiative would do a lot in changing the behaviour of drivers as they could learn how to drive without horn, saying “that is lesson number one apart from the fact that it will eradicate noise pollution due to indiscriminate honkings while driving.”
According to Governor Babatunde Fashola, the exercise was a step towards sensitizing residents to the harmful effects of noise pollution, adding that the horn-free day was an initiative of his administration to persuade citizens that there was a better way to live than indulging in noise pollution which had been found to be harmful to their health.
“It is for our own good, it is for our own health, it is for our own life. It is not because Governor Fashola said so. It is not because Lagos State Government said so. It is simply because it is good for us. Doctors have told us it is for our own ultimate good,” the governor said.
He further stated that “what we see in a way that we now choose to live is that because we live in a very noisy environment, which we can really diminish, we tend to be very noisy ourselves. We speak at the top of our voices, we play music at very high decibels and we do very many things at very high levels.”
The governor pointed out that the campaign against noise pollution was a response to the petitions and complaints of “citizens and tax payers who, on daily basis, write and petition us that somebody is preventing them from sleep either from the noise they are making or from other uncharitable activities they are carrying on without regard for the wellbeing of their neighbours.”
source: pm news