CLIMATE CHANGE AND ROAD SAFETY BY YEAR 2020 By OM LAWAL (ACC) fica

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CLIMATE CHANGE AND ROAD SAFETY BY YEAR 2020By OM LAWAL (ACC) ficaINTRODUCTION Global climate change has become a political, environment and economical fact of life. The…
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CLIMATE CHANGE AND ROAD SAFETY BY YEAR 2020By OM LAWAL (ACC) ficaINTRODUCTION Global climate change has become a political, environment and economical fact of life. The concurrence of Harmattan, fugitive dust and other particulate emissions such as automobile exhaust fumes is a paradigm of synergic processes in atmospheric air pollution.These processes are a combination of biogenic and anthropogenic activities, in which the later presents a more complex issue that has drawn international attention in recent years especially with regard to climate change. CAUSES OF CLIMATE CHANGE Greenhouse gases (GHG) exist naturally in the earth’s atmosphere. Their presence allows the earth to remain warm enough to support life.The problem of global warming is that GHG concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing above their natural levels, in turns results in warming temperatures. The science of climate change is evolving and complex, but there is widespread agreement among leading scientists around the world on 3 key points.* The global climate is becoming warmer. * Global warming, if allowed to continue unchecked, will cause severe and lasting imparts. * Global warming is caused in large part by human activities.IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURES.1. The global climate is expected to cause significant impacts on transport infrastructures. These includes: > Increase in atmospheric temperature > Increase in frequent heat waves > Heavier rainfall in many parts of the country. > Compromise pavement integrity. 2. The transport Sector is vulnerable to changes in climate variables and expected changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events as well as increased sea level. For example; * Changes in temperature are likely to impact road pavements ( such as heat-induced heaving and buckling of joints). * Changes in temperatures will also impact the behaviour of permafrost and thus the infrastructure lying on permafrost. * Extreme weather events such as stronger and /or more frequent storms will affect the capacity of drainage and overflow systems to deal with stronger or factor velocity water flow.* Increased salinity levels will reduce the structural strength of pavement and lead to precipitated rusting of the reinforcement in concrete structures.3. Floods have occurred more frequently and caused significant damages to road, bridges etc. Many of these infrastructures were constructed several years ago and although not yet reaches their design life due to traffic loading, have been severely damaged due to climate change and lack of maintenance. The phenomena of weather change pattern plus years neglect in maintenance have reduced their serviceable life prematurely.FACTOR AFFECTING ROAD –RELATED GHG. There are several factors that affects the greenhouse gases emissions from road transportationsThese includes:i. Fuel Economy:The government should enact fuel economy standards that will require that the average of all new vehicles in the light-duty Automobile fleet, which includes cars, light trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUV) achieve a standard of 35miles per gallon by 2020.ii. Alternative Fuels and Hybrid Vehicles. It is hope that alternative fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel will help reduce GHG emissions because they emit less carbon dioxide for each energy produced. iii. Reducing Congestion to Reduce GHG Emission. Many transportation agencies believe that reducing traffic congestion can make a significant contribution to reducing GHG emissions.ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE AND ITS SAFETY (IMPLICATION). The impact of climate on existing transport infrastructures which have been designed and maintained to current standards are generally considered to be moderate with adaptation requiring minor to moderate investment. Increase in temperature and effect of droughts may affects sub-grade moisture content of roads and reduce the structure strength of roads, resulting increased need for maintenance actions.SUMMARY OF IMPACTSSUMMARY OF IMPACTS continue. ROAD SAFETY BY 2020. Road transportation sector is one of the largest employer of labour in Nigeria.> The road transport system accounts for over 75% of mobility needs in Nigeria.> Transportation is crucial to the Federal Government 7-point agenda.> This activity also exposes many people to hazards which even results to loss of lives.> Available records indicate that Nigeria has 14million registered vehicles, the FRSC projects that vehicular growth would rise to 40million by the year 2020( average of 2.8million vehicles per annum).METHOD OF CONTROLLING VEHICLE EMISSIONS. * Effective inspection and maintenance programs. * Advocacy of effective legislation. * Effective air quality monitoring programs. * Introduction of adequate repairs and testing facilities. * Adequate public awareness. * Formulation of standard for new and in- use vehicles. ROAD SAFETY CHALLENGES. * Lack of Road Safety Engineering inputs in initial planning, design and construction of roads. * Lack Road Safety Laboratories for monitoring and evaluation of Road Traffic Crashes. * Overlapping roles/confusion about responsibilities in the administration of road safety. * Poor road construction and road marking. * Non adherence to safety regulations by road users.Challenges continue * Inadequate laws. * Inadequate policy framework. * Poor Urban public transportation system. * Poor response to air quality an climate change. * Increase Motorization: Road traffic congestion. * General lack of awareness of the environmental consequences. * Lack of proper repair and service industry. * Lack of enforcement machinery.THE WAY FORWARD. The need for standards to set an air quality in the country as part of measure aimed at ensuring environmental safety and healthy living among the citizenry. The issue of air quality should be anchored on public transportation in Nigeria with specific system and proliferation of 14 seaters buses which has remained a major source of emission with attendant environmental and road traffic hazard. THE WAY FORWARD CONTINUE. There is need for legislative/policy framework to be put in place, making it mandatory for every motor vehicle to undergo emission test in order to curb obvious healthy and safety challenges associated with combustion of fossil fuel emanating from vehicles. Presently, we consume about 150million litres of fuels nationwide daily with about 5,000 trucks needed to convey this product, you can imagine the challenges FRSC will face by 2020 in terms of quality and vehicle emission if proactive steps are not taken in the area of legislative/policy.CONCLUSION. Carbon emission from motor vehicles plying the nation highway daily has underscored the need to improve on air quality in Nigeria in order to guarantee public safety. The healthy implication of this trend cannot be over emphasized hence the need for a collective involvement of the Corps to address this development.SAFER ROAD FULLER LIVE. THANK YOU ALL
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