No fewer than 275 people died in road accidents across the country during the last Christmas and New Year period, the Federal Roads Safety Corps, FRSC, has revealed.
The number is however lower than the figure in 2017 which stood at 338.
The difference is 63, representing 18.6 per cent decrease.
The disclosure was made by the FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, in his review of the 2018 special end of year patrol.
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The operation which commenced on December 20, 2018 and lasted till Tuesday, January 15, 2018 was tagged “Operation Zero Tolerance For Road Traffic Crashes.”
In a press statement by the Corps Public Education Officer, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, the FRSC 2018 special patrol was said to have attracted various innovations, among which were establishment of more help areas, deployment of more personnel and logistics as well as creation of alternative routes for motorists with greater coverage of crash prone corridors across the country.
According to the report of the exercise, the overall result shows some levels of improvement in certain areas over that of the previous year.
The report shows that while a total of 540 crashes were recorded in 2017 as against 542 in 2018 representing 0.4% increase, the number of people involved reduced from 4,418 in 2017 to 4,375 in 2018 which is a difference of 43 representing 1% reduction.
“The total number of people rescued without injury within the period in 2018 was 2,136 as against 2,041 in 2017, an increase of 95 persons representing 4.6%. In the same vein, the total number of people injured in 2018 were 1,964 as against 2,040 recorded in 2017 which was a difference of 376 representing 18.6% reduction,” the Corps Marshal revealed.
The report further indicates that the Corps recorded 6 fatal crashes in Darazo local government Area of Bauchi State with the highest number of casualties in which one of the crashes claimed 16 lives while the rest led to the death of 29 people.
“The most frequent offences within the period of the patrol were Seatbelt violation, Tyre violation, riding motorcycle without helmets and violation against use of speed limit devices,” he added.
The report indicated however that there was an increase in the number of children involved and killed in the crashes during the period.
The report said that made it imperative that the Corps put in place necessary measures to curb the incidents.
A total of 393 children, according to the report, were involved in the crashes in 2018 as against 350 in 2017, with a difference of 43 representing 12% increase.
Furthermore, while 24 children were killed in 2017, the number increased to 29 in 2018 with a difference of 5 representing 21% increase.
To address the challenges, FRSC Corps Marshal declared that a national summit would be organsised with child safety as its focus.
That, it was revealed, would be done in conjunction with some women related NGOs including National Council of Women Society (NCWS), National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Military and Paramilitary Officers Wives Associations including ROSOWA POWA, NAOWA, NAFOWA, NNOWA from the military and Police as well as those of other paramilitary organisations..
The Corps Marshal pledged to sustain the tempo of public enlightenment programmes and enforcement in the new year, noting that the experiences gained in the operations would be utilised in planning this year’s exercise.
This year’s programme, FRSC said, would commence on time to avoid pitfalls that could hinder maximum results.
Oyeyemi expressed appreciation to all relevant stakeholders for their support during the operations and urged them to remain committed to the goals of attaining safer road environment in the country.
Operation Zero Tolerance for Road Traffic Crashes is an annual special end of year patrol that is undertaken by the FRSC to address the perennial challenges of road obstruction, gridlocks, crashes and death experienced during the yuletide periods which normally attract increased human and vehicular movements across the country.