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Lack Of Road Signs, Training Causing Chaotic Driving 

By Esther Ngende Boh* — While drunk driving and bad roads are said to be the major causes of accidents on the highways, lack of road signs and training have been observed to be the causes of chaotic driving in major towns in Cameroon.

Except for Yaounde and Douala that can boast of few traffic lights and some road signs, many of the country’s regions are greatly lacking in this. This is the case with Buea, the capital of the Southwest Region, where road signs are largely absent, coupled with the complete absence of traffic lights. These are compounded by the lack of training for most drivers.

On an average day, drivers stop and pick up passengers from any point, while others stop haphazardly regardless of other oncoming cars. As a result, very avoidable accidents occur, with some drivers using even street lamps as speed brakes. At times, due to disorderly driving, traffic is brought to a halt on the lone road leading to the town.

A concerned Buea inhabitant, Peter Asoh, says drivers stop anywhere to pick up passengers because of the lack of training. “Most of these drivers did not receive training from driving schools. Most of them left the garage and got to the road, and, so, do not know the high way code,” Asoh said. On her part, Miss Mary Asongwe, a car owner, says chaotic driving is caused by lack of road signs.

“I cannot imagine that there is no traffic sign at the GCE Board Junction indicating the direction a driver should take. Coupled with the fact that the road is small, there were supposed to be road signs indicating where taxi drivers can pick up passengers and where pedestrians should cross,” said Miss Asongwe.

According to Desmond Etta, a road user, the chaotic driving in major towns in the country is caused by drivers who did not pass through driving school, especially taxi drivers. “This is the reason why some do not even understand the basic rules of driving,” Etta noted. However, a high ranking official at the Southwest Delegation of Housing and Urban Development disagrees that lack of road signs cause poor driving.

“Before roads are constructed, those who develop the plan place road signs where they think are necessary. But I think the disorder is caused by drivers themselves, especially untrained taxi drivers and those who want to make a big balance by the end of the day,” said the official.
A taxi driver whose name The Post got only as Rudolf blames poor driving on lack of training.

“Even those with driving knowledge do the same, especially taxi drivers driven by the desire to make huge balances by the end of the day. This is the reason why you see them standing in places where they are not supposed to because they are hunting for passengers,” he asserted.
Eric, another taxi driver, says roads in the town are very small, “and the lack of road signs to help control the way we drive are absent.”

*(UB Journalism Student On Internship)

First published in The Post print edition no 01369

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