By O’star Eze
Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has recorded a decline in road traffic crashes in 2018. This record, which was gleaned from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) , was disclosed by the FRSC Field Marshal, Dr Doboye Oyeyemi in his address at the church service to mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Crash Victims which held recently in Anambra State at Church of The Pentecost, Awka.
Dr Oyeyemi, who was represented by the Anambra State Sector Commander, Mr Sunday Ajayi, stated that while 1,306 Nigerians died in road accidents in the fourth quarter of 2017, 1,292 people dies in the first quarter of 2018. He added that from the NBS records, 50.81 per cent of the total accidents reported were caused by speed violation.
“Tyre burst and dangerous driving followed closely as they both accounted for 8.26 and 8.42 per cent respectively of the total number of road accidents recorded,” he said. He added that a total of 15,815 Nigerians sustained varying degrees of injuries in road accidents between October, 2017 and March 2018.
Ajayi, speaking with the press later, commiserated with the family of the victims of road traffic accidents while charging them to channel their experience constructively by being actively involved in sensitization of members of the public on the need to strictly observe traffic rules.
He said that in Anambra State, 140 road accidents have been recorded from January to date and that of these accidents, 60 persons died. He described Governor Willie Obiano administration as a proactive one which is partnering with the FRSC via the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), Anambra Traffic Management Agency (ATMA) and Ministry of Works to ensure that road traffic problems are reduced to the barest minimum in the state. He however charged road users in the state to “own their safety” by playing their part in securing the roads while using them.
Reverend Echezona Obiora, the officiating priest during the event, enjoined his congregants to ensure they keep traffic rules. He observed that people fear the road traffic management officers while insisting that the fear is misplaced.
“They are there to help us on the road. Wear your seat belt at all times and drive within the speed limits. Make sure your papers are renewed as and when due. You would have nothing to fear.”
Representing Anambra State Commissioner for Works at the event was the Permanent Secretary, Barrister Emeka Ohuoha. He shared government’s commitment to asphalt every nook and cranny of Anambra State.
“We have already started compiling requests from every local government to identify and asphalt every road in the state.
“His Excellency is committed to making this Christmas period the safest.
Speaking on the issue of portholes on roads, the permanent secretary said that the Anambra Road Maintenance Agency has been doing its work under the supervision of the ministry. He however attributed the proliferation of portholes to climate change and increased rainfall. He then assured Anambra residents that with the subsiding of the rainfall, the ARMA is moving in to make sure that every porthole is taken care of.
“We have Operation Portholes being run by the agency and the ministry is also on course to ensure that the roads are taken care of before the Christmas celebration.
“Anambra State sympathises with families of road traffic accident victims and is poised to ensuring that road accidents are reduced to the barest minimum,” he said.
Chidi Umezinwa, State commandant of the ATMA who was present with his men to commemorate the day said that his agency has been holding several training and retraining of its staff in how to manage the road users this festive period.
“We equally made sure that our men were posted at strategic places during Christmas period to manage traffic,” he said.
He assured Anambra residents of free flow of traffic during the celebration.
Orient Daily reports that the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Crash Victims is held every third Sunday of November annually. It was the United Nations Resolution of October 26, 2005 and Africa Union Executive Council resolution of January, 2012. In Anambra State, FRSC marked the event in collaboration with the VIO, ATMA and State Ministry of Works.