CONTRACTORS CULPABLE FOR ROAD ACCIDENTS
An accident is one of the ugliest scenes anyone can witness on our roads. Those involving motorists knocking down either pedestrians or cyclists have particularly been more frequent and nasty. Often, the two “camps” – pedestrians/cyclists on the one hand and motorists on the other – have traded endless blame as to who carries more responsibility. While pedestrian and cyclists have relentlessly accused drivers of speeding, drivers have often blamed their accusers of crossing road carelessly and changing direction suddenly and without warning. Ironically, the role of road contractors rarely finds mention in this debate! Road construction companies, especially, those responsible for Class C and D roads, often declare their work “complete” even when it is clearly not, and get paid for shoddy jobs done. How, for instance, can a company pull out of the site without erecting relevant road signs and safety measures? Visualize this: a road gets tarmacked, launched, and becomes operational without erection of speed bump or slow-down signs, or without white shoulder and yellow centre-line signs being marked! Such laxity translates into a not only to an economic offence (crime) but mass gradual murder of thousands of innocent lives through avoidable tragic carnage! In response to such blatant negligence, the public has often resorted to taking matters into their own hands by erecting dangerous speed bumps whenever an accident occurs. In as much as such mob action seems justifiable at face-value, a view through legal eyes reveals that such an action is unlawful. The law prohibits unauthorised modification of any public facility, roads being part of them. Likewise, such actions are counter-productive as attested to by the quality of the resultant work. The ridge-like mountain bumps unprofessionally made are more of a safety hazard than safety measure. It is high time that NTSA and other roads safety stakeholder’s took over to task such cowboy contractors in order to reduce the rate and severity of road accidents.