Global Road Safety: We need technology that puts phones off while driving – Nigeria’s minister

By Tina George, reporting from Sweden 

Nigeria’s Minister for Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi has called for the development of a technology that will shut off phone, while driving. 

He stated this during a high-level panel discussion titled, “Enhancing International Collaboration for Road Safety” at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Sweden. 

This, according to him, would go a long way in reducing road traffic crashes, adding that most of the crashes were caused by the use of phones while driving.

Amaechi observed that everyone had become addicted to mobile phones and engaged in all sorts of activities using phones while driving. 

The Minister stated that government officials were most often guilty of the act, adding that it would save lives if a technology that shuts phones, is invented. 

“We need to find solutions to further technological development. We are addicted to mobile phones, both government officials and those who manufacture cell phones. 

“When individuals, especially government officials are driving, they are typing on their phones, they are calling and doing all sorts of things on their phones. 

“We need to find technology that shuts off the phone when someone is driving that way, you help in saving lives and preventing crashes,” Amaechi said. 

The Minister further said that most of the accidents in Nigeria were caused by those who think they have the right to beat the speed limit.

“Most of the accidents are caused by those who think they have the right to beat the speed limit. They are drivers who have to take their masters and show off to the world that they are powerful. Even when their masters are not in the convoy, they still want to show to the world that they are as important as their masters.”

Ameachi further lamented that road safety is not usually put into consideration when most of the roads built in Nigeria adding that government is only concerned with conveying goods and people from one place to another. 

“In some states in Africa, road Infrastructure are constructed because they want to were cars alone. They do not think about technology like optics for communication, they do not deal with the issue of drainage or deal with the issue of safety. It is on how to convey good and people from one point to another.”