Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), on Thursday, said that the corps would be strict on its conduct of vision acuity test as part of the ember months strategies.
Oyeyemi said this in an address at a 2019 Ember Months Campaign organised by the Lagos State Command of the corps in partnership with the Beer Sectoral Group (BSG).
He said that the move became necessary in order to reduce road accidents and fatalities.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the mega campaign was tagged: “Road Safety is a State of Mind, Road Traffic Crash is the Absence of Mind, Stay Alert, Stay Alive”.
Oyeyemi, who was represented by Mr Samuel Obayemi, the Zonal Commanding Officer, RS 2 Command comprising Ogun and Lagos States, said it had become imperative to make sure drivers on the roads did not have defective eyesight.
The FRSC has been firm with its campaigns for safe motoring environment since its inception, and this has driven the corps to map out strategies to achieve the reduction of road traffic crashes by 20 per cent and fatalities by 25 per cent on yearly basis.
” Operational strategies lined up for the 2019 ember months campaigns are to ensure safety and to enforce safety culture by improving the visibility of the corps on all national roads.
The corps is going to be strict on its conduct of vision acuity test to make sure all drivers on the road do not have defective eyesight, and the responsibility equally falls on other traffic agencies to collaborate with FRSC to achieve this.
” This is to equally inform participants present that the weather condition is fast changing, hence the need to make sure the headlamps are in working condition in case of low visibility, ” Oyeyemi said.
He said that many people erroneously believed there were evil forces on the road in ember months that are responsible for crashes and fatalities, whereas it was the negative attitude of road users that caused most accidents.
It is the struggle on the part of most people to travel to meet their loved ones and more trips on the part of commercial drivers to make more profit in preparation for the Yuletide without adequate rest that are mainly responsible for the road mishaps.
The resolve of the corps as of today is to use the media and all public enlightenment platforms to dispel the erroneous belief and to proffer a way forward for the reduction of road traffic crashes,” the FRSC boss said.
Oyeyemi, who counselled drivers to obtain genuine licences, highway codes and new Number Plate, said that enforcement would be carried out concomitantly with the enlightenment campaigns.
He said that the corps would enforce its ‘Operation Cobra ‘which was initiated to curb specific offences such as light violation, drunk driving, dangerous driving, use of phone while driving, and route violation.
In his address of welcome, Mr Hyginus Omeje, the FRSC’s Sector Commander, said that the mega campaign was to elevate consciousness of Nigerians to the realities of road traffic crashes.
Omeje said that road traffic incidents and fatalities in the state had been on the increase, as distracted driving stole minds drivers away while on the roads.
In Lagos State, Road Traffic Crash incidences and fatalities recorded from first to third quarters in 2018 stood at 225 and 74 respectively. The statistics over the same period in 2019 stood at 419 crashes and 84 fatalities.
” This translates to 51 per cent increase in crash cases and 14 per cent increase in fatality notwithstanding the command’s numerous intervention.”
In his remarks, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, who commended the FRSC for addressing cases of unnecessary deaths on the road, urged motorists to change their negative attitude and recklessness.
Obasa, who was represented by Mr Temitope Adewale, the Chairman, House Committee on Transport, urged FRSC to intensify measures at clamping down on fake driving documents to ensure safety.
According to him, FRSC should work more with the state ministry of transport and avoid complicating traffic congestion while carrying out their duties.
NAN reports that the event had in attendance stakeholders in the transport sector such as the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) among others.
Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Oluwole Sogunle
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