By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
Following its renewed commitment towards creating a safer motoring environment in Nigeria, the Federal Road Safety Corps has successfully recorded 7% decrease in the total number of Road Traffic Crashes (RTC) and 12% reduction in fatality on Nigerian roads during the 2019 Eid-el-Fitri special patrol operations.
The Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, who revealed this, said that, in a special patrol operation that lasted for six days, the Corps recorded a total of 117 RTCs as against 126 of the same period in 2018 representing 7% decrease in total number of RTCs recorded within the period. 22 out of the 117 crashes were fatal, compared to 25 of the same period in 2018, representing 12% decrease in number of fatalities recorded.
Giving a breakdown of the 2019 sallah special operation, Kazeem stated thus; “A total of 5713 offenders were apprehended over 6481 offences committed across 2053 routes covered by the Corps. The most prevalent offence recorded during the period was Seatbelt Use Violation with 1492 offenders apprehended. More to this, Public enlightenment campaigns within the period increased by 5.7%.
“The recorded decrease in road traffic crashes during the 2019 celebration period came as a result of improved patrol operation, robust public enlightenment campaign, prompt rescue services, enhanced stakeholder collaboration, wider coverage of the national road network due to the establishment of more FRSC Commands, Outposts, road side clinics and Zebra points among others”.
The FRSC spokesperson also revealed that a number of Mobile Court sittings were conducted across the country during the period. A total of 155 persons were arraigned during the mobile court operations in 2019 Sallah Special patrol compared to 230 persons in 2018; while 141 offenders were convicted compared to 221 in 2018, and 14 persons were discharged and acquitted.
In the same vein, the Corps recorded a significant increase in the number of people rescued without injury during the 2019 Eid-el-Fitri Sallah special patrol operations. Accordingly, during the special operations, a total of 469 persons were rescued without injury as follows; 310 male, 136 female and 23 children against 414 persons in the same period in 2018 representing 13.3% increase.
Total number of persons rescued with injuries in road traffic crashes during the period in 2019 was 333 compared to 389 in 2018, representing a decrease by 14%. And this is to say the least an improvement in the right direction.
In addition, he mentioned that from the total number of 117 crashes, 22 were fatal compared to 25 in 2018 which represents 12% decrease in total number of people killed; 81 were serious compared to 73 in 2018 which represents 11% increase; and a total of 26 were minor crashes compared to 22 in 2018 which represents 18.18% increase.
He also stated that of the 856 persons involved in road traffic crashes during the 2019 sallah period, 131 vehicles were involved compared to 148 in 2018, and 54 persons lost their lives during the 2019 sallah period. He gave the breakdown of vehicles involved in road traffic crashes across the nation as follows: 10 Tanker/Trailers, 17 Trucks, 39 Buses, 58 Cars, and 7 pickups. Also involved in crashes during the period were; 54 motorcycles and 6 Tricycles.
Kazeem quoted the Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, as saying that, “The recorded decrease in crashes during the 2019 Eid-el-Fitri celebration was as a result of improved patrol operation, robust public enlightenment campaigns, prompt rescue services and enhanced stakeholder collaboration. Further to that, the Corps now has a wider coverage due to the establishment of more FRSC Commands, Outposts, road side clinics and Zebra points who now feed in reports from different routes that were hitherto not thoroughly covered”.
It will be recalled that the Corps Marshal had earlier directed that the 2019 Sallah special patrol covers 52 critical corridors which include, Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Kebbi; Mokwa-Birnin Yero-Zaria; Maiduguri-Biu-Numan-Jalingo-Wukari; Akwanga-Lafiya-Makurdi; Jos-Bauchi-Gombe; Katsina-Kano-Wudil-Dutse-Azare-Potiskum, Kaduna-Saminaka-Jos, and Abuja-Kaduna-Kano.
Kazeem finally stated that the positive changes in the reduction of offences and offenders, impoundment, and arraignments captured above is attributable to increase in Public Enlightenment, Enforcement, Traffic control, cooperation from Stakeholders, and the fully automated process of obtaining Drivers licence which ensures that Motorists must be trained in Driving Schools before they are qualified to apply for their Licence.
To ensure further reduction in crashes on the road, the Corps Public Education Officer urged the motoring public to practice safe road use culture and give their maximum cooperation to FRSC personnel for the desired success.
He also called on the general public to notify FRSC in the event of an emergency through its emergency line 0700-CALL-FRSC (0700-22553772) or toll-free number 122 for prompt response as road safety is a shared responsibility.