*Right at this point, let’s agree on certain initial conditions:First, let’s start with Nigerian roads. You will agree with me that Nigerian roads are not safe. You will also agree with me that most road users on Nigerian roads are not patient. Most drivers of bigger vehicles think that they are the kings of the road and that other road users have no rights including motorcyclists.You will also agree with me that motor vehicle drivers have to deal with many things at a time. They have to deal with traffic in the front, on their sides and behind them in addition to other side attractions in a country like Nigeria.One more thing you’ll probably agree with is that most motorcyclists on Nigerian roads drive without mirrors. The mirrors are taken out hours, days, weeks or months after being back from the shop.This has many dangerous implications. At times, you cannot see others and others cannot see you. That is not good for you and not good for others..Let’s now get into the details of this message which is as useful to motorcyclists as it is to motorists.Any machine can be compared to the complex human body and every human being is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139 verse 14). The human body has different parts. We’ve the heart, the stomach, the large and small intestines, the spleen, the ears, the eyes, the lungs and so on. Each of these parts is distinct and unique. They are different from each other and perform different functions. The same can be said of any machine and a motorcycle is a machine. Every motorcycle, the make and model notwithstanding, has different parts that perform different functions. We’ve the brakes, the tires, the wheels, the fuel tank, the engine etc.Of all these parts, the message of this article fọr good reasons centers on the horn. The horn is installed in every motorcycle for a reason, the same reason it is installed in a motor vehicle. When you are driving at nights, you turn on the lights in order to see. To stop the machine while in motion you apply the brakes when necessary. Failure to do so could result to an incident which could result to an accident. These road users are not mind readers, and your horn, like a woman’s pair of earrings is not there for mere decoration. They are there to do a job. Because of all this, please blow your horn necessary before overtaking other road users.By blowing your horn:You are indicating your presence.You are indicating your intention.You are alerting other road users of any emergency situations in case there is one.Don’t blow your horn to scare people.Blowing your horn can make a difference between life and death.I always hear people say:“We are in Africa, this is not the United States where things are more orderly.”“This is not the United States where people are more disciplined.”“This is not the United States where there is respect for rule of law, and things are more organized.” I’ve been told that umpteen times. The list is endless. By saying all that we are also saying some other things and none is good.Here is a partial list of what we are saying:Nigeria is a lawless nation, a country where there is no order.Nigeria is a place where nothing works.Nigeria is a nation where people are not disciplined.Nigeria is a disorderly society.Nigeria is a country where things are not organized and will never be organized.Nigerians may be religious but not spiritual. That is exactly what we are saying.We have to understand that by doing all these things that we are required to do, by obeying these laws we are supposed to obey, we are not aiming at a perfect society, for no society has ever been, and none will ever be. In addition, no generation has ever sought for a perfect society for there is none Rather, by doing all we are required to do, we are working for a better society.We always refer to the United States as a wonderful and a great country and of course it is. You even hear people talk about how orderly some West African countries like Gabon, Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) are. Again, also they are. All these are reference points. What is wrong with Nigeria being a reference point as well, not only to other African countries but the rest of the world?It is the dream of Americans to have and live in a great country, and they are proud when people from other countries talk about the American Dream. The American Dream as most people wrongly think is not only about dollars and cents which are all physical things. The American Dream, to an American is also about orderliness. To an American, the American Dream is also about the rule of law, freedom and many more.Unfortunately, while the American Dream sounds great in the ears of many, the Nigerian Dream doesn’t, but it is left to each and every one of us to make it sound as great. We can all make Nigeria great. But first let’s start with the little things that we think don’t matter but they do, like blowing our horn, respecting each other, frowning at the so called African time, being patient at traffic lights, using our PVCs wisely, and finally, appreciating each other’s good deeds while in traffic etc. These are all spiritusl things that speak great of great nations.Is it the dream of Nigerians to have a great country? People always look at each other when questions like this and others pop up. It is like we want a great country but in the real sense of it we don’t want a great country. Is that not controversial? Of course it is. This is a question that needs to be honestly answered, and if it is, let’s start with these things that we think don’t matter but they do and blowing your horn at the right time and at appropriate places is one of them. All this and others are what make a country great as stated earlier.By blowing your horn you are not running out of “data” on your Whatsapp and other social media platforms, by blowing your horn you are not running out of MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile, or Glo credit on your cellular phone.Please, blow your horn and be safe for the lives of other road users are entrusted in your hands. If we Nigerians want to have and live in a great country, we Nigerians have to drop a lot of our controversies. Drive safely!

Excerpted from an unpublished book titled *_ROAD SAFETY HANDBOOK FOR MOTORISTS, MOTORCYCLISTS & PEDESTRIANS_* by Paul Chika Emekwulu, _a public speaker, seminar presenter, an international bestselling author, publisher, and an Igbo Language activist._


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