Effective communication about road safety plays an important role in ensuring safe mobility for all road users. How the public thinks about the problem of traffic injury and fatalities and what can be done about it is significantly influenced by how the media reports and educate on it.
Arriving safely is the main goal of transportation, and achieving that needs promoting and growing awareness of road safety to make sure that drivers are adequately informed and trained on safe driving.
People, society, the economy, and the country as a whole may all suffer as a result of the media's failure to adequately educate the public about road safety. Regular public education about road safety is essential to ensuring that people are informed of the risks associated with driving, encouraging safe driving behaviors, and enhancing people's road sense (The ability to behave safely when driving, walking, etc. on roads). Some of the repercussions that could occur if we don't advocate for road safety frequently include the following:
Lack of awareness and knowledge about road safety: People may not know how to utilize the roads safely or obey traffic laws if they do not have access to information about road safety. Confusion, ambiguity, and even hazardous circumstances on the roads could come from this. Road safety education is essential for raising public understanding of safe driving procedures, traffic laws, and the dangers of careless driving. People may be more inclined to engage in risky driving behaviors when they are not exposed to this type of teaching, which could increase the number of traffic accidents. Without adequate instruction in road safety, people might not be aware of the dangers of careless driving or the significance of obeying traffic laws.
Negative attitudes towards road safety: If media attention is not given to road safety education, people may think it is not as vital or even necessary. This could result in contempt for traffic regulations and other road users' safety.
Poor driving habits: The absence of road safety education can lead to bad driving behaviors including speeding, driving while intoxicated, or driving while distracted. These behaviors not only raise the possibility of accidents, but they also run the risk of substantial legal repercussions.
Increased Road Traffic Crashes: Without adequate education and awareness campaigns regarding road safety, drivers, pedestrians, and other road users may not grasp the risks connected with careless behavior on the roads. The number of collisions, injuries, and fatalities might rise as a result of this.
Increased Risk for Pedestrians: Drivers might not be aware of the significance of yielding to pedestrians, slowing down in locations with high pedestrian traffic, or other pedestrian safety behaviors without road safety education. Due to this, there may be more pedestrian accidents. Even the pedestrians themselves might not be aware of jaywalking and other risky behaviors they engage in that frequently result in disputes with drivers.
Increased Insurance Costs: An increase in insurance claims may result from a rise in traffic accidents brought on by a lack of road safety education. Insurance prices may rise as a result of insurance firms passing on the increased expenses to policyholders.
Economic Costs: Road traffic accidents can have significant economic costs, including medical expenses, loss of income, and property damage. The absence of road safety education can increase the number of crashes, leading to higher economic costs for individuals, businesses, and society as a whole.
Decreased Public Trust: The absence of road safety education can also decrease public trust in the media and other public institutions. The media has a responsibility to provide accurate information and promote public safety. When the media fails to provide road safety education, it can lead to a decrease in public trust and confidence.
Negative impact on public health: Automobile accidents can result in serious wounds, impairments, and deaths that not only have an impact on the victims and their families but also place a heavy burden on the healthcare system.
Social costs: The emotional toll and stress on families and communities that have been injured in traffic accidents, as well as the loss of loved ones, are examples of the social costs that can result from these accidents.
Recommendation: The absence of road safety education from the media space can have far-reaching consequences that affect individuals, families, and communities. The media need to prioritize road safety education and awareness campaigns to help prevent crashes and promote safe behavior on the roads. Thus, we recommend that the Government through the Ministry of Transport and National Road Safety Authority in conjunction with other stakeholders has to sponsor a constant, uninterrupted road safety advert and educative programs simultaneously across all media. For example, during the six o’clock news time or twelve-noon news broadcasts which will go a long way to influence road users’ behaviour to behave well.
Road safety education is critical to reducing the number of road crashes and improving the safety of road users. The media plays an essential role in disseminating this information to the public, and its absence is dire.