Deriving from the Seasonal Rainfall Predictions (SRP) of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on this year’s rainy season, the Federal Road Safety Corps has reiterated its warning for motorists across the country, to ensure proper maintenance of vehicles plying the highways.
According to the Corps Public Education Officer, Corps Commander Imoh Etuk, this is coming on the heels of strategic plans initiated by the Corps to ensure sanity on the highways during the season even as the Corps also harps on the need for strict compliance with traffic rules and regulations among road users during the rainy season.
The FRSC also reiterates its commitment towards safer road use during this period and warns the Nigerian motoring public on the need to comply with all traffic rules and regulations, in addition to ensuring proper maintenance of their vehicles because the vehicle condition is paramount especially during the rainy season. The FRSC also said that every driver is mandatorily expected to fix the vehicle wiper blades, head and tail lights, brakes and to avoid the use of worn-out tyres.
Still on tyres, Etuk expressed the Corps’ concern over the attitude of most drivers in the country towards tyre care and maintenance, adding that most Nigerian drivers have poor maintenance culture such that they feel less concerned about the status of the tyres on their vehicles and forget that being the only part of the vehicle that has direct contact with the road, its care should not be compromised. Motorists are further advised to avoid the use of over-inflated or under-inflated tyres.
In the same vein, the FRSC recalls that every tyre has a life span of four years, noting that the week and date of manufacture is always inscribed on the tyre thus: 0612 (meaning, the tyre was made in the sixth week of the year 2012). The production date code is always in four digits. The first two digits indicate the week of the year it was produced. The last two digits refer to the year it was produced.
While recalling the common sight of poorly maintained vehicles on the nation’s highways, the FRSC also advised motorists to ensure regular maintenance of their vehicles and desist from the use of worn-out tyres and used (tokumbo) tyres, in view of inherent traffic hazards. It stated that under rainy condition, the grip of worn-out tyres is often seriously affected, adding that there is danger of the car skidding and not coming to halt within the safe distance after application of brakes. The problem becomes more serious when the road surface is wet or slippery.
The Corps further harps on visibility and driving under the rain, adding that driving in the rain can be risky because one's visibility is reduced and there are usually hazardous and slippery conditions on the road. Motorists are therefore urged to take precautions while driving in order to ensure they reach their destination safely.
According to the FRSC, prior to starting the journey, one should ensure that the windows and windshields are clean on the outside and the inside. It is pertinent to routinely check the headlights, brake lights, turn signals and tail lights. The wind shield wiper and blades should also be checked for proper functioning.
The Federal Road Safety Corps also harped on headlights and advised motorists to turn their headlights on along with their wipers. The lights should be on during the day and at night, whenever rain starts dropping. Motorists are also advised to reduce their speed during this time and apply the “common sense speed limit”.
Making further disclosure, the Corps’ Spokesman disclosed that findings in the last 3 years indicate that speed limit violation account for over 60 percent of road crashes with a strong link to other factors such as loss of control, tyre burst, sommersault, dangerous overtaking among other vices.
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