Traffic Management: A New Dawn In Edo

Traffic Management: A New Dawn In Edo

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, flanked by the MD of EDSTMA, Dennis Oloriegbe, during the Governor’s visit to inspect EDSTMA facilities, in Benin City, recently
Traffic congestion is a major challenge in most cities of the world owing to the influx of people into these cities in a bid to take advantage of the socio-economic opportunities that abound in such places.
This increase in human and vehicular traffic usually leads to some degree of pressure on public facilities like roads.
Previous governments in Edo State attempted to ameliorate the menace of traffic jam with little or no success.
Due to bad roads, poor planning; inadequate manpower, poor remuneration for traffic officials coupled with lack of training for them and drivers alike, the impact of these approaches was minimal.
Traffic congestion could result from reckless driving, non-adherence to traffic rules, bad roads and poorly maintained vehicles that should not be on the road, amongst other factors.
Recall that under former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the Edo State Traffic Control and Management Agency (EDSTMA) came under heavy criticisms for using crude tactics, aiding and abetting traffic congestion through corrupt practices such as extortion and reckless chase of drivers who flouted traffic rules.
In the Oshiomhole years, reckless driving was rife on major roads in Benin City and environs, especially on the Benin-Sapele and Benin-Abraka roads.
Also, the New Benin area, Ugbowo and Ekenhuan axis were impassable most times and commercial bus drivers were notorious for flouting road traffic rules with reckless abandon.
In a bid to stem this ugly tide, Governor Godwin Obaseki marshaled out reforms in the Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) which led to the construction of a standard office complex with modern facilities that will enable them function optimally.
Added to that is the training and retraining of staff of the agency so as to change the narrative of traffic management in the state.
The reform of EDSTMA according to the state government is to keep pace with the fast-growing status of the state, which has in recent times been witnessing a high influx of people and businesses, especially the capital, Benin City, a development that has been attributed to the pro-economic growth policies and programmes of the Obaseki administration.
In recent times, the traffic management agency has intensified efforts in the training of about 1,200 drivers, including drivers attached to government ministries, departments and agencies and those at the state-owned transport agency, Edo City Transport Service.
In the same vein, stringent traffic rules such as a psychiatric examination for drivers who violate traffic rules most especially those that drive against traffic, have also been put in place; this measure is aimed at curbing the issue of bad driving which has caused a lot of traffic congestions and, in some cases, led to loss of lives.
Similarly, cameras have also been installed at strategic locations of the state as part of traffic and security measures in the state.
Refurbishing of serviceable traffic lights and replacement of non-functioning ones are currently ongoing across the state. All these efforts have changed the face of traffic management in the state.
EDSTMA officials have become more visible across the city, they are very civil in their approach and always on ground to solve knotty traffic congestions whenever they occur.
It is pertinent to state that Governor Godwin Obaseki remains committed to redefining and improving upon the traffic condition and management in the state so as to ease the free flow of traffic.
Taking cognizance of the massive investment, training and partnership with consultants and experts in the traffic management sub-sector, Edo State will in no small measure witness an appreciable free flow of traffic both in the city and peri-urban areas.

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