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Stemming Road Accidents

Stemming Road Accidents

ONDO State Commandant of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Rotimi Adeleye, recently declared that road crashes killed more than diseases in Nigeria.

ACCORDING  to him, road crashes kill without notice while AIDS and other ailments can be treated or managed because they give notices  before they strike.

STATISTICS from FRSC, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), World Health Organisation and other bodies bear out Adeleye’s frightening  predictions.

IN January, this year, about 682 persons died from road accidents countrywide, while 3,953 others were injured in 1,107 road accidents across the country in December 2018, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) reported in its monthly Road Traffic Crash (RTC) report signed by the Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi.

THE figures indicate an increase of 47 per cent and 49 per cent in crashes and fatality cases compared to those of November of the same year.

LATE last year, according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the number of lives lost to road traffic accidents from January 2013 to June 2018 were as follows: 2013 – 5,539; 2014 – 4,430; 2015 – 5,400; (FRSC): 2016 – 5,053; 2017 – 5,049; January to June, 2018 – 2,623.

ACCORDING to NBS, the last quarters of the year in 2018, the road transport data reflected that 2,532 road crashes occurred in quarter four 2018. A total of 8,406 Nigerians got injured in the road traffic crashes recorded.

ALSO 7,815 of the 8,406 Nigerians that got injured, representing 93% of the figure, were adults, while the remaining 591 Nigerians, representing 7% of the figure were children. 6,194 male Nigerians, representing 74%, got injured in the road crashes, while 2,212 female Nigerians, representing 26%, got injured.

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SIMILARLY, a total of 1,538 Nigerians got killed in  road traffic crashes recorded in quarter four 2018. 1,422 of the 1,538 Nigerians that got killed, representing 92% of the figure, were adults, while the remaining 116 Nigerians, representing 8% of the figure, were children. 1,209 male Nigerians, representing 79%, got killed in road crashes in Q4 while 329 female Nigerians, representing 21% got killed.

NEEDLESS to say, road accidents have very negative implications on the health, economy, education, and other aspects of the  life of  Nigerians. For instance, education is truncated with the death of a breadwinner through a motor accident.

ACCORDING to World Health Organisation  about 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes, while road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people aged 15 – 29years.

 THE causes of motor accidents are numerous, and they begin with the poor nature of our roads, which make drivers to skirt around potholes, leading them to ram into oncoming vehicles.

ROAD crashes are compounded further by many drivers, who are illiterates and are not licensed to drive. Even when they flaunt licenses, they get them through the backdoor, and evade punishment through the connivance of corrupt public officers, who extort money from them and don’t take steps following infringements of road traffic regulations.

IT is no wonder   drivers are careless and reckless, driving against traffic many times, while commercial motor-cycle operators break traffic laws with impunity.

CONSEQUENTLY, we appeal to the FRSC to go back to the days when the Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, was in charge of the body, when corruption was not the order of the day.

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IT is difficult for sanity to reign on our roads, if drivers tipped agency officials, who cannot enforce the law against the offenders for their reckless excesses.

THE role played by alcohol cannot be underestimated during discussion on road crashes,  as evidence had shown large scale abuse by drivers.

THOSE  found to have consumed alcohol deemed above permissible levels should face the wrath of the law.

WE believe drivers should carry comprehensive insurance on their vehicles, as this will insure the life of road users, so the family of victims of accidents doesn’t suffer.

FINALLY, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) should enforce the law mandating drivers to carry licenses and papers from vehicle inspection officers allowing them to drive. We also advise that leadership of the NURTW should discourage the sales of  alcohol  at the motor parks while drivers should be sensitize to  avoid drinking while driving.

IF drivers are forced to be responsible on the nation’s highways, we’ll have less problems pertaining to road accidents.

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