By Harrison Arubu
Abuja – The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Friday said there was a marked reduction in all road traffic crash indices during the 2017 Eid-el-Kabir festivities compared to those of 2016.
The Corps’ Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, stated this while presenting the report of the FRSC’s 2017 Eid-el- Kabir Special Patrol exercise to newsmen in Abuja.
Kazeem said a total of 136 road traffic accidents were recorded nationwide in 2017 compared to 201 cases in 2016 within the period, representing a 48-per-cent reduction.
He stated that the number of people killed dropped by 23 per cent from 97 in 2016 to 79 in 2017.
According to him, a total of 322 vehicles were involved in crashes in 2016 as against 221 in 2017, representing a reduction rate of 46 per cent.
“ When you look at the number of people involved, we had 1,445 in 2016 and 1,031 in 2017, that is, a 40-per-cent reduction.
“The number of people injured also dropped by 68 per cent from 671 in 2016 to 400 in 2017, while 677 were rescued unhurt in 2016 as against 552 this year, which is 23 per cent reduction,’’ Kazeem said.
He disclosed that the major contributor to the fatalities was an accident that occurred at Ugoneki on the Benin-Agbor-Asaba highway on Sept. 1 in which 19 people died.
On traffic offences committed during the period, the FRSC spokesman said there was a 39.6-per-cent reduction from a total of 9,308 recorded in 2016 to 6,668 in 2017.
Whereas 8,522 traffic law offenders were apprehended in 2016, the figure dropped to 5,867 in 2017 representing a reduction rate of 45.2 per cent.
Kazeem added that speed violation remained the most prevalent offence with 2,372 cases recorded in 2016 and 1,521 this year.
“We believe that a combination of public enlightenment, education, persuasion, subtle force, enforcement and prosecution culminated in all these reductions.
“Another major contributor was the support and cooperation of stakeholders such as the transport unions and law enforcement agencies such as the Police, Army, Civil Defence and first aid organisations,’’ he said.
He conveyed the appreciation of the Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, to those stakeholders and the motoring public in general, and called for more collaboration.
Meanwhile, Kazeem expressed the readiness of the FRSC for its 2017 Ember Month special patrol nationwide to ensure accident-free Yuletide.
He said the Corps Marshal had directed all the field commands to immediately launch their ember month patrol, with the unit, sector and zonal commands to follow on different dates.
“We are focusing on sensitisation, appealing to people to take it easy so as not to kill themselves and to remind them of the fact that Ember Months are just ordinary months.
“They are not months full of mysteries or where evil spirits are around sucking blood as believed in some quarters.
“They are just months where there is always increase in both human and vehicular traffic, where commercial motorists, due to availability of passengers tend to overload or run many trips within the shortest possible time to make more money.
“ But we are saying that only the living celebrate. So, they have to be careful, and we are battle ready,’’ he said. (NAN)