In line with the Federal Road Safety Corps’ (FRSC) mandate of reducing road traffic crashes, as well as building a robust data base on traffic matters in Nigeria, the Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, recently revealed in his Press briefing on FRSC activities with particular focus on Sallah Special Patrol and commencement of the enforcement of Speed Limiting Device that even though the Corps’ success in crash reduction between January and August 2016 is an improvement of the figures recorded between the same period in 2015, figures of crashes and road incidents are unacceptable and must brought down significantly.
According to the Head Media Relations and Strategy of the Corps, Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Marshal’s while deploying 20,000 personnel, 697 patrol vehicles, 283 motorbikes, 76 ambulances and 22 tow trucks for SALLAH patrols opined that analysis showed that from January to August 2015, a total of 5,953 crashes were recorded involving 39,119 people in which 3,233 of them died and 17,189 others were rescued alive. However, within the same period in 2016, 5,707 crashes were recorded involving 38,222 people out of which 3,048 died and 17,446 others were rescued alive.
Other comparative analysis with regard to the Eid El Kabir traffic revealed that the Corps recorded a total of 94 crashes involving 767 people out of which 44 died and 312 others were rescued alive. Within the same period, 8,004 offenders were apprehended for 9,045 offences.
In the words of the Corps Marshal “between January to August 2015, the Corps apprehended 339,551 offenders for 376.391 offences compared to 421,816 in the same respects, in 2016”. He lamented however that the Corps’s interest is free – will compliance to road traffic laws and regulations, and does not consider the upsurge in arrest as a positive.
Kazeem stressed that the Corps Marshal has, however, noted that the success of the Corps is attributable to the findings of recent survey conducted on public understanding of the Corps’ functions and consequent support base which showed an increased from 51% and 52.3% in 2015, to about 57% and 59% in 2016.
He stated that the Corps Marshal acknowledged the role of opinion leaders and decision makers in the strides the Corps has made so far.
According to him, the Corps Marshal stated thus; “the Corps has been able to engender unprecedented understanding and support from religious organizations, traditional rulers, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Standards Organization of Nigeria, (SON), NADDC, NUPENG-PTD, RTEAN, NURTW, and NARTO who have all taken their places as stakeholders in the road safety endeavours by resolutely supporting the Corps in all ramifications.
In view of the foregoing, the Corps has relocated its Deputy Corps Marshals and Assistant Corps Marshals alongside Corps Commanders to the field where they are expected to boost the morale of Officers and Marshals on ground for the 2016 Sallah Special Patrol where particular attention will also be paid to critical corridors as the Lagos – Ibadan and Abuja – Kaduna Expressways as well as the East West road.
The Corps Marshal used the opportunity to remind motorcyclists and pedestrians of the need to be more vigilant while making use of the road. He stressed that motorcyclists must use their safety helmets and comply with all traffic regulations. He also called on Pedestrians to make use of the Pedestrian Crossing facilities i.e. markings and bridges to avoid being knocked down or run over.