September 22, 2020
Transportation

Examining Abuse of Siren

A siren is a loud noise-making device mounted at locations or devices to warn or alert people of a given situation.

Sirens are used on emergency service vehicles such as ambulance, police cars, fire trucks and military vehicles.

The aim is to alert other road users that the service vehicle is on a mission and to enable users to pave the way.

Importance of siren is no doubt very significant in a country of high level of criminality and bad road network which in most cases, is responsible for traffic gridlock on major roads.

However, it is disheartening that a new dimension in the use of siren in the country has become a cause for worry to many stakeholders.

Prominent among such are the instances where police service vehicle which is obviously not an official mission would blow siren forcing other unsuspecting users off the way.

There have been instances where security agencies vehicles conveying livestock like rams, fowls and some home appliances such as television, mattress, fans and foodstuffs, to mention but a few, would abuse the use of siren to intimidate other road users to have their ways.

The use of siren on private vehicles belonging to influential individuals is also a cause of worry.

Many individuals, out of which most are either a serving uniformed man or a retired officer, are guilty of this abuse.

Ambulances sirens are also turned on in many cases without any emergency.

The development, however is bringing gradual disrespect to the use of siren, irrespective of an emergency situation or not.

A number of times, road users do not accord cognisance to the use of siren with the belief that service vehicles operators most times cry wolf.

Worried by the development, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Frsc, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi recently disclosed that abusers of sirens will be prosecuted.

While noting that abusers are not government officials but mainly private individuals who are not authorised to use the device, Dr. Oyeyemi maintained that abuse of sirens is an abuse of freedom of movement and intimidation to road users across the country.

He added that the organisation would work with the Nigeria Police Force to ensure that offenders are prosecuted.

However, a clog in the wheel is the fact that some officers and men of the Nigeria Police are believed to be among perceived abusers of sirens.

At the critical state of the country at the moment, where the spate of insecurity is on the increase, health challenges are becoming more rampant and cases of fire disasters are becoming more frequent, the task of siren using agencies would be on the increase.

There is a need for the public to be enlightened on how to respect siren.

The government at all levels should embark on and programmes that would enforce adequate compliance to the rules guiding the use of siren.

Security chiefs should also place a red alert on the abuse of sirens and ensure that offenders are prosecuted to serve as deterrents to others.

Hospital workers should take cognisance of the fact that they deal with human life and should not cry wolf in any situation to protect the sanctity of human lives.

It behoves every Nigerian to respect the use of siren.

It is still pertinent for road users not to assume that any siren is a ploy for unofficial or false emergency passage but always respect such, as some lives may be in danger.

The government must ensure that abusers of the siren, regardless of their status are made to face the wrath of the law.

Doing this will surely bring an end to such abuse.

The media need to strengthen its role in sensitizing the public on dangers inherent in siren abuse, and the benefits if properly utilised. 

Dayo Adelowo

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