1.1 Background of the Study
Although transportation has liberated man and makes him more mobile, his increasing reliance on vehicular movement has conferred great facilities on him and his activities. The greatest culprit of all the modes of transport is road of which traffic accident is the most disturbing repercussion of its use.
Road traffic accident is therefore an issue of great international concern as it has emerged as the single greatest source of death all over the world. In the developing countries where the number of motor vehicles relating to population is generally much lower than in the developed countries, fatalities from automobile crashes are higher. It has been shown, for instance, that accidents in developing countries cost almost one percent of these countries Annual Gross National Product utilizing scarce financial resources they can ill-afford to lose (Akpoghomeh, 1998).
Nigeria, with a total land area of 910,771 square kilometres and human population of about 167 million, is the most populous country in Africa, and the 7th most populous nation in the world. Its large land mass and burgeoning population correlate with its high level of vehicular population estimated at over 7.6 million with a total road length of about 194,000 kilometres (comprising 34, 120 km
federal, 30,500 Km, State and 129,580 km of local roads). Nigeria ranked as the country with the second largest road network in Africa in 2011. Its population density which varies in rural and urban areas (approximately 51.7% and 48.3% respectively) translates to a population- road ratio of 860 persons per square kilometres indicating intense traffic pressure on the available road network. This pressure contributes to the high road traffic accidents in the country (FRSC, 2012).
The Nigeria situation has reached such an alarming proportion even to the point of sheer frustration and near helplessness. Nigeria continues to feature in the bottom half of World Health Organisation country rankings of road traffic accidents. The country‟s 149th ranking in 2009 out of 178 member states indicates the hazards associated with road transportation in a country that is largely dependent on its road network for economic, social and physical activities.
Indeed news of road traffic accidents in Nigeria no longer stirs any surprise. What may be shocking, however, is the magnitude of the fatality. Daily, Nigerian Newspapers carry news of road traffic accidents that are considered significant only in severity. Sometimes the papers sum up the number of lives claimed as if they were providing an expenditure account. e.g. “over 100 lives lost to fatal accidents in the Nyanya area in the last one year‟. Such news indicates that we live in accidents every day.
According to Sumaila (2001) road traffic accidents have claimed more lives than deaths resulting from all communicable diseases put together including the dreaded Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome AIDS). Thus, the government and people of Nigeria are deeply concerned about the continuing high rate of road accidents and the unnecessary consequential waste of lives and properties. What is worrisome is the fact that road traffic crashes and mortality rates are still high despite various remedial measures taken in recent years to combat the problem.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Road traffic crashes (RTC) are as old as the roads (Highways) themselves. Therefore, roads traffic crash is unargueable, a major killer of men. The magnitude and trend of the crash worldwide is heart breaking, yet unfortunately, the rising tide of the global problem has continued to outstrip effort to control it.
Traffic crash presently the 11th leading cause death and it may raise to 3rd position by the year 2020. Therefore, in Nigeria one person is killed in less than two hours as at 2008, one RTC occur every 58 minutes and 54 deaths occur in every 100,000 population (Balogun, 2006:4). It is in view of this myriad carnage that the federal road safety corp. is mandated with making the highways safe for motorist and other road users, and also preventing or minimizing road traffic crash on the high ways.
However, despite the logistic challenges among others road traffic accidents have kept occurring, it is in this light that the research work will examine the factors which responsible for the road traffic crashes on the highways.
According to Olagunju K. (2011) in Road Sense have identified the causes of RTC as follows:
1. Human factors
2. Mechanical factors
3. Environmental factors
He also state that , we can only talk of vehicular traffic when there is at least a vehicle (mechanical) to be driven , a driver( human) to drive on a track , lane , road or any space (environment) to drive on . It is when there is a deficiency or defect in the inter relationship in any of or all the three factors , that there is a crash.
1.3 Research Questions
1. To what extent the FRSC corps members discharge their duties?
2. What are the factors that hamper the command in discharging its mandate ?
3. What are the strategies for controlling these factors?
1.4 Objectives of the Studies
The major of the study is assessing the challenges against the FRSC corps in the enforcement of traffic regulations on highways.
The specific objectives are as follows:
1. To assess the level of efficiency by the corps in the process of enforcement of traffic rules and regulations on highways.
2. To identify the factors that halts the command from achieving its designated objective or goals.
3. To discover possible means by which the operations of the command could be enhanced.
1.5 The Significance of the Study
The importance of this work cannot be overemphasized, as it will highlight the challenges encounter by FRSC corps to the enforcement of Road Traffic Regulations on the Highway.
The research will reveal the challenges against FRSC corps which will assist decision makers to improve the condition of service, so that the corps members can be able to discharge their responsibilities efficiently.
It will also guide policy makers in designing policies that will tackle the menace of road traffic crashes and budgetary allocations to the commission for effective enforcement of road traffic regulations on the highway.
The study will also be an eye opener for other researchers and further investigation on the challenges facing the organization, conduct and comportment of enforcement of road traffic regulations on the highway.
1.6 Scope and limitation of the Study
This study uses Zaria-Kano highway as a study area under Zaria unit command. This research work is being carried out within the period under review. The researcher considers only from 2011 – 2015.
In the process of conducting the research, the researcher faced with the following constraints:
– Time which is very limited to the researcher to conduct a successful research.
– Some respondents respond to the questions of the researcher negatively as they sometimes regards their document confidential.
1.7 Definitions of Terms
Challenges: The problem faced by the corps in carrying out the statutory factions.
Corps: The entire working staff in whatever capacity or department excluding appointed members of the board.
Enforcement : broadly refers to any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society.
Traffic : the number of vehicles moving along roads, or the amount of aircraft, trains, or ships moving along a route.
A highway: is any public road or other public way on land. It is used for major roads, but also includes other public roads and public tracks.
Regulation: a law, rule, or other order prescribed by authority, especially to control conduct .
1.8 The organization of the Study
The plan of the study contain up to five chapters.
chapter one consist Background of the study which discuss some information as an introduction of the topic of the research , statement of the problems , research questions ,objectives of the study , significance of the study, scope and limitation, definition of the terms as well as organization of the study.
Chapter two contains the literature review which discusses the views of some scholars about the topic of discussion, and also theoretical framework.
Chapter three discuss on the historical background of FRSC as well as the structure of the corps.
Chapter four deal with methodology, data presentation and analysis while the last chapter which is chapter five discusses the summary, conclusion and recommendations.