Road accidents worse than COVID-19 in Nigeria, FRSC warns




By Aisha Cole

Lagos –  Asst. Corps Marshal Imoh Etuk, Zonal Commanding Officer RS2 ( Lagos/Ogun), on Tuesday urged road users to be more careful during Ember months to avoid accidents, deaths and injuries.

Etuk also advised them to comply fully with Novel Coronavirus ( COVID-19) prevention guidelines to prevent spread and save Nigeria from more deaths.
Etuks made the appeal at the launch of the zone’s 2020 Ember Months Campaign in Lagos.

The campaign had the theme: “Drive Safe, Stay Safe”.
According to him, although novel coronavirus was ravaging the world, more lives had been lost to road accidents than to the pandemic.
He noted that a total of 4,737 people died in 9,698 road accidents in 2019 in Nigeria while 30, 744 people sustained various degrees of injuries.

He also noted that Nigeria had lost 1,113 lives to COVID-19.
Etuk said that the figures showed that the number of lives lost to road accidents in 2019 in Nigeria was almost four times the number of lives lost to COVID-19 in the country.

“It is against the backdrop that the FRSC Zone 2, in July and September partnered some stakeholders to launch COVID-19 Enlightenment Kiosk to educate the public on COVID-19 safety protocols and also to educate the motoring public especially in motor parks on best driving practices to keep the highway safe for all road users.”

He blamed much of road crashes to speeding, saying that FRSC was determined to tackle it with the introduction of a speed limiting device and enforcement of its use by commercial vehicles.

“One of the critical offences the corps focused on is overloading.
” The dangers of overloading a vehicle are enormous.
“It hampers the driver’s ability control the vehicle; overloaded goods also pose a safety challenge to other road users,” he added.

From left, former President, Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Mr Ayo Fanimoku; Zonal Commanding Officer of RS2, Asst. Corps Marshal Imoh Etuk and ACP Ibrahim Zungara, at the launch of 2020 Ember months campaign in Lagos on Tuesday

He said that the zone was committed to ensuring that COVID-19 would not be spreading among the motoring public.
The Lagos State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Corps Commander Olusegun Ogungbemi, who was represented by the Head of Operations of FRSC in Lagos State, Mr Cyril Matthew, said that the commission would not relent in keeping Lagos highways safe for users.

He advised commercials and private vehicle drivers to exercise caution during the Ember months to reduce accidents.
He urged them to embrace defensive driving, adding that they should drive within the recommended speed limits for their classes of vehicle.

He cautioned against use of phone while driving, overloading and other acts that could endanger their lives or those of others while on the roads.
The Ogun Sector Commander, Corp Commander Ahmed Umar, advised drivers to always consider other road users.

He noted that more driving occurred during the Ember months, urging drivers to be more careful.
A former President of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Mr Ayo Fanimoku, also noted that there were more vehicles on the roads during Ember months.

He appealed to road users to obey all traffic rules and regulations to reduce accidents.
In his good will message, the President, National Union of Road Transport Workers Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, who was represented by the Asst. National Secretary of the union, Mr Adedokun Taiwo, said that members of the union were complying with the COVID-19 guidelines.

Akinsanya said that the union would continue to educate commercial drivers on the need to be more careful during Ember months.

(NAN)

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