Arising from its renewed commitment towards creating a safer motoring environment in Nigeria, the Federal Road Safety Corps has engaged 1761 drivers nationwide in a free and voluntary Eye Test exercise during the 2018 Eid-El Kabir special patrol operations.
Out of the total number of 1761 drivers tested by the optometrists, 350 drivers were discovered to have sight defects while 35 drivers went home with free eye glasses. The eye test which lasted from Friday 17 to Sunday 26 Aug. 2018 was successfully carried out in collaboration with Optometrists Association across the country.
The Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, who revealed this, said that a total of 4983 offenders were apprehended over 6097 offences committed across 2360 routes covered by the Corps during the Sallah special patrol operations. The most prevalent offence recorded during the period was Seatbelt Use Violation with 1540 offenders apprehended.
Kazeem also revealed that a number of Mobile Court sittings were conducted across the country during the period. A total of 102 persons were arraigned during the mobile court operations in 2018 Sallah Special patrol compared to 218 persons in 2017; while 99 offenders were convicted compared to 208 in 2017, and 3 persons were discharged and acquitted.
In the same vein, the Corps recorded a significant increase in the number of people rescued without injury during the 2018 Eid El Kabir Sallah special patrol operations. According to Kazeem, during the special operations, a total of 612 persons were rescued without injury as against 552 persons in the same period in 2017 representing 10.87% increase. Accordingly, the increase was as a result of improved patrol operations.
Total number of persons rescued with injuries in road traffic crashes during the 2018 Sallah celebration period was 397 compared to 400 in 2017, representing a decrease by 0.75%. And this is to say the least an improvement in the right direction.
In addition, he mentioned that from the total number of 118 crashes, 63 were fatal compared to 79 in 2017 which represents 20% decrease in total number of people killed; 61 were serious compared to 83 in 2017 which represents 26.51% decrease; and a total of 26 were minor crashes compared to 22 in 2017 which represents 18.18% increase.
He also stated that of the 1072 persons involved in road traffic crashes during the 2018 Sallah special patrol operation, 213 vehicles were involved compared to 221 in 2017, and 63 persons lost their lives in 2018 compared to 79 in 2017. He added that a total of 201 animals were also involved in crashes in 2018 as against 2 in 2017. He gave the breakdown of vehicles involved in road traffic crashes across the nation as follows: 18 Tanker/Trailers, 21 Trucks, 37 Buses, 89 Cars, 29 motorcycles, 10 Tricycles, 9 pickups, and 201 animals.
Further to that, a total of 4 crashes claimed at least for lives during the period, these crashes occurred in Kantagora on the 20th August, 2018 claiming 11 lives, another occurred in Wudil on the same day claiming 7 lives. While 5 lives were lost in Aba on 21 August, 2018, 8 persons also died in a crash that occurred in Toro, Bauchi state on 21 August, 2018.
Quoting the Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, Kazeem stated that the Corps now has a wider coverage due to the establishment of more FRSC Commands, Outposts, road side clinics and Zebra points who now feed in reports from different routes that were hitherto not thoroughly covered. He stressed that the increase in number of road crashes, increase in the number of persons involved, and increase in the number of persons killed is due to the reports that emanated from the new FRSC formations.
It will be recalled that the Corps Marshal had earlier directed that the 2018 Sallah special patrol to cover 45 corridors which include but not limited to Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Kebbi; Mokwa-Birnin Yero-Zaria; Maiduguri-Biu-Numan-Jalingo-
In view of Corps Marshal’s directives on the need to ensure a comprehensive surveillance and patrol of the stated corridors including the alternative routes; which is a move away from previous years where focus was on critical corridors, he noted that FRSC has intensified its Patrol operations and Enlightenment campaigns by giving adequate coverage to all the 45 routes identified across Nigeria.
Further to this, enlightenment through Motor park rallies increased by 32.5%, Radio Programmes increased by 40%, while Television programmes increased by 63% in the period.
Kazeem finally stated that the positive changes in the reduction of offences and offenders, impoundments, and arraignments captured above is attributable to increase in Public Enlightenment, Enforcement, Traffic control, cooperation from Stakeholders, and the fully automated process of obtaining Drivers licence which ensures that Motorists must be trained in Driving Schools before they are qualified to apply for their Licences.