By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom Sector Command of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has said that the state recorded 72 road crashes this year, while 93 persons were injured during the period.
Within the period, the command recorded 16 fatalities, when no fewer than 226 persons were involved in the crashes.
The State Sector Commander of the Corps, Mr. Oga Ochi gave the information during the flag off ceremony 2020 Commemoration of African Road Safety Day/World Day of Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims in Uyo on Monday.
Ochi attributed over 90 percent of road crashes in the country to human factor, urged road users to be disciplined while on the road.
He stressed that crash prevention and loss reduction on all public roads in the country required full cooperation and collaboration of all critical stakeholders.
The Sector Commander said that FRSC being the lead agency in road safety and traffic management in Nigeria and Africa joined others to commence action in commiserating with families of road crashes across the country.
According to him, the ceremony would also sympathise with those that lost their loved ones, and drew attention of the living to the consequences of failure to ensure discipline while using the road with others.
“I do implore all of us as road users to imbibe discipline and work in concert with the FRSC to fulfill its mandate of keeping death off our road by being cautious when using the road.
“By putting in remembrances, that our love ones are ever patient eagerly waiting to receive us safely back home after every trip.
“We must embrace discipline and commit ourselves to the cause of crash prevention and loss reduction on the road by ensuring discipline through courtesy to other road users and obedience to traffic rules and regulations.
“Beginning from today through to the end of the week, commemorating the 2020 Africa Road Safety Day and World Day Rememberance of road crashes. And all that were involve in one or two road crash, we remember them during this exercise.
“We know that road crashes is a major pandemic across the globe. Many people and family have suffered in one way or the other as a result of road traffic crashes and that’s why we are calling on the general public and drawing the attention of government and everybody to the fact that there must be safety on our high ways,” Ochi said.
He said that the command would not relent in enforcement of road safety measures and campaigns to ensure zero road crash as the restive period approaches.
The FRSC Sector Commander said that the command has taken safety enlightenments and campaigns to schools, churches and mosques to inform them on the need to be safety conscious while on the road and consider other road users.
“For us in Akwa Ibom State, we have a line up of activities to mark this remembrance weak. Before, I outline the activities line up, I want to draw our attention to the fact that in 2020, we have a record of 72 road traffic crashes across the state.
“And of this 72, we have 93 persons injured and we had 16 persons dead during these crashes across the state. A total of 226 persons were involved in the crashes across the state
“Now, if you look at this figure, you will believe that Akwa Ibom state has a very low rate in road traffic crashes in the number of persons.
“But that’s not for us to go back and rejoice knowing fully well that we can have zero record of road crashes in the state.
“That’s what the FRSC in Akwa Ibom state have been working towards to ensure that throughout the week, month and years we have no crash at all and when it happens we have no fatality and injuries,” he said.
The Sector Commander added that the command during the festive period would commence free vehicles check to identify some defects in vehicles for owners.
Ochi appealed to vehicles owners not to be afraid when they see road Marshals flag them down, stressing that it was not to book them for fine but to identify defects in their vehicles for correction.
He urged drivers and vehicles owners to cooperate with FRSC officers and marshals to ensure safety on the road.
“So emphatically, we are enlightening the general public and ensuring that where you have default in your vehicle that could likely lead to a crash , now we’ll point out those defects to you to make amends. We call it free vehicle check.
“We’re not flagging you down because we want to give you a ticket. No, we are flagging you down to identify the defect in your vehicle. And then we give you the opportunity to go back and make amend. People have gotten back to us and appreciate what we have done,” he said.