State of Nigerian Roads & Road Users’ Safety
Road traffic accident is the leading cause of injury-related deaths worldwide. Public health experts around the world say that it is a global epidemic, one that people don’t pay attention to. Road traffic accident is Nigeria’s third leading cause of overall death, the leading cause of trauma related death, and the most common cause of disability.
The FRSC in its report on road traffic crash for December 2018, January and February 2019 shows that over 21,500 people were involved in road crashes involving cars, minibuses, motorcycles, trucks, tankers and trailers. At least, about 1,618 people have lost their lives through road accidents during those three months. The FRSC also disclosed that 370 children died in road traffic crashes in Nigeria in 2018.
Route Commander, Paul Abiti, also the Unit Protocol Officer RS214 Lagos Island Unit Command, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) is present in the studio 99.3 Nigeria Info FM to talk about the issue of road crashes in Nigeria and the safety measures needed to be taken to reduce the road accidents. He tells the duo of Wemimo Adewuni and Sheriff Quadri the leading causes of road accidents in Nigeria. He streamlines the causes into four.
“We are going to limit them into four. Human factors, the mechanical, the environmental, and engineering factors. However, the human factor is the leading cause of accidents in Nigeria. Over the years since the founding of FRSC in February in 1998, these numbers have been increasing from year to year. When we look at the number of vehicles then and now we see that there’s exponential increase. The more vehicles, the more problems needing solutions. But we are up to the task and we have been discussing with stakeholders. We want to assure Nigerians that we are going to tackle this.
“When we talk about human factors, we talk about Speeding. Last year, we introduced speed limit device to curtail over-speeding on the highways. We felt that we may not be able to tackle the drivers physically. Regarding this, we also partner Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON). Today, the law gives a maximum speed limit of 100 miles per hour. This is made compulsory by the law. The enforcement is still on-going. As for new vehicles coming in, there are plans to have them fixed with the speed limiting device before they arrive in Nigeria.”
Comments on Facebook
Nwafor Christian The FRSC pays less attention on commercial vehicles and drivers, but concentrate more on private drivers and their vehicles for easy extortion.
Daniel Emeka We aren't paying for road worthiness until we have good roads in this state
Festus Okundia FRSC would then face attacks from robbers and bandits if they start to carry guns. Some may be disarmed by robbers and take the guns for use. They are free now that they don't carry arms
FRSC also try to work with National Drug Enforcement Agency to curtail the use of drugs while driving. “We don’t use force to get these things done. We are not armed, although there is an enabling law that guides FRSC that gives us power to carry arms. But the management of the FRSC is still looking at when and how the officers can do that.”
The question is, what will the situation be like if the FRSC bears arms? Will carrying guns make the officials to be more effective? Already, according to Wemimo, Nigerians have great distrust for the Nigerian police because they wield guns that some Nigerians see as being to civilian detriment.
The issue of driver’s license is also very important because of age-related issues. However, there are challenges when the drivers were coached by the spouses, or other family members. They could start driving without getting the necessary skills needed to drive on Nigerian roads.
Paul says that any fresher going through any driving school has to do so by presenting his or her birth certificate. FRSC will in turn monitor driving schools processes, and take note of information submitted by applicants. “We have a lot of drivers on our highway today who don’t have basic understanding of driving,” says Paul.
Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry)
Written by Jude Chukwuemeka