Statistically, a female driver is considered better than her male counterparts. Yet, every time a woman takes a little longer than expected making a 3-point turn or is deemed to be driving too slowly on the highway, men shake their heads and mutter “no wonder, it’s a woman”, or more appropriately, “na woman sef”.
But when a male or female driver, especially one considered to be well off, kills “lesser beings” in a high density area like Bariga, it must make headlines. When a motorist kills 8 people at once, then the situation demands a closer look at the traffic laws and the way these laws are being effected. Moreso, are there different rules or laws for different classes of people?
In the case reported in most dailies today, and the story which triggered this article, the “wealthy” woman was said to have been attacked by an angry mob and beaten after the accident. She is currently recuperating in a hospital and will be invited for questioning by the police when she recovers. As the story goes, her driver left her seemingly stranded at a nearby petrol station and she decided to make the rest of the journey home herself. The chances are that she was an inexperienced driver if at all, and was unable to handle the power of her large 4 wheel drive.
And so a few questions come to mind – did our female driver have a driver’s licence? If she did, how did she get it? How is it that the LASTMA officials did not “see” anything? Will the insurance company be compelled to pay? Did she have insurance, and if she did, what type of insurance? Unfortunately, the culture of impunity still pervades the society where too many people believe that they can get away with murder; murders in this case.
Yet we must spare a thought for the female driver herself who must now live with the knowledge that she has caused the death of 8 innocent people. She has rendered families broken, some permanently, all in her bid to get on with her preparations for a birthday party. If the system was tougher on all offenders, maybe she would not have taken to the wheel and attempted to drive her 2-ton SUV on a busy street without requisite skills.
If Ilaje road was properly build with sidewalks on both sides, maybe the death toll would have been lower.
In the final analysis, all fingers must point to the decadence and decay in society which has permeated virtually all facets of life where simply “anything and everything goes”. If the poor victims of this accident had all survived with minor injuries, the female driver would have literally walked away from the scene. It now remains to be seen what happens next, first in terms of justice for the accident victims, penalty for the woman driver, herself a victim of the system, and what happens now to the Ilaje roads which make up the vast majority of road types in Lagos.
Sadly, the life of a black man or woman is not worth a great deal in today’s Nigeria, worse still if said life is from the other side of the tracks.
Governor Ambode has shown a rare human face in his approach to the problems in Lagos state. This is yet another test of his resolve.
Original Article: http://www.punchng.com/