Ever since the death of a passenger, Oluwabamise Ayanwole, many citizens of Lagos State have been worried about how safe it is to travel on the Bus Rapid Transit vehicles in the state.
The PUNCH had reported that Oluwabamise, who closed from work around 7pm on February 26, was on her way to visit her brother, Pelumi, when she boarded a BRT vehicle around Chevron Bus-stop, in the Lekki area of the state.
Her corpse was later found dumped by the roadside, according to the police who revealed that the driver of the vehicle, Omininikoron Nice, had been arrested.
This led to an outrage and protest on social media and in the streets of Lagos.
To avoid finding yourself in a similar situation as Oluwabamise, here are some tips to keep you safe while travelling on BRT vehicles:
1. Ask if the vehicle has a CCTV camera as most of them don’t have, especially the locally built ones. If the vehicle doesn’t have one, it is advisable to wait for the one that has.
2. If the vehicle doesn’t have a CCTV camera, try to know the vehicle’s licence number, if possible take a picture of it and send it to a relative or friend, alerting them of your journey.
3. Ensure that you are not the only passenger in the vehicle. Make sure that the passengers are about five at least and don’t they look suspicious.
4. In a situation where the passengers in the vehicle are not much, ensure you sit close to the exit or by the window to make yourself visible to other road users.
5. If ever you feel unsafe, make use of the emergency buttons in the vehicle which connects it to the control room. This alerts the officials in the control room to monitor the vehicle’s activities.
6. BRT vehicles do have emergency numbers. Put a call through to one of them if you ever feel unsafe.
7. If travelling at night, ensure that the BRT vehicle has inner lights. This allows other road users to see what’s going on inside the bus.
8. Ensure you alight at your bus stop and not along the road. Object if the driver suggests dropping you by the roadside as this may be a ploy to expose you to ritualists or armed robbers lurking around the corner.
9. Ask questions or raise the alarm if the driver decides to ply a different route other than its designated route.
10. If you had informed your relatives of your journey, ensure you let them know when you alighted safely. This will not only put their minds at rest but will also prevent a situation where the driver of the BRT vehicle will be wrongly accused.
Source: The PUNCH