Tuesday, August 8, 2017 3:51 pm
By Daniels Ekugo
A total of 35,179 people were killed in road accidents between 2012 and 2016, the Federal Road Safety Corps has said.
The accidents, according to the Corp Marshal, FRSC, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, involved 436,633 persons in which 401, 454 of the people were rescued.
Oyeyemi, who spoke at a seminar organized by the Nigerian Auto Journalist Association (NAJA) in Lagos through the Zonal Commander, FRSC Zone 2 for Lagos and Ogun states, Mr. Shehu Zaki, said the accidents were recorded on highways across the country within the period under review.
Giving details of the crashes, he said last year, a total of 5,053 people died in accidents involving 65,467 persons in which 60,414 travellers were rescued. In 2015, about 64,394 persons were involved in road accidents and 5,440 people died while 58,954 others were rescued. Those that died in the accidents recorded in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 were given as 5,996, 6,544, 6,092, and 6,054 people, respectively.
Oyeyemi attributed the high percentage (over 91 per cent) of people rescued at the accident scenes to the improvement in the emergency response to reports of road crashes. He said, “The coordination of the call centre with emergency response point called ‘Zebra’ has increased the response time during emergencies.
“This also led to significant improvement (91.1 per cent) in the number of persons rescued alive from crash scenes in Nigeria.”
He also said the corps had conducted 71 road safety audits in eight years, at all levels of government during pre- and post-road design and construction phases to identify gaps and make necessary recommendations.
The FRSC boss gave the breakdown of the audits as 10 in 2009; five in 2010; nine in 2011; seven 2012; nine in 2013; six in 2014; 10 in 2015; and 15 between 2016 and June 2017.
The corps marshal gave a number of other initiatives and interventions introduced by the FRSC and concerned groups expected to improve the level of road safety and substantially reduce the carnage on the highways.
For instance, he said the National Post Crash Community Care Initiative was introduced to equip first responders and ‘good Samaritans ‘at crash scenes with professional and sound skills while attending to victims of road accidents at the communities.
Oyeyemi also said some safe systems stemming from the United Nation’s Decade of Action had influenced the application of smart solutions to road user challenges in Nigeria.
He said that the safe systems approach advocated for the implementation of the Decade of Action for Road Safety facilitated the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy, adding that the NRSS aimed to reduce fatalities by 35 per cent by 2020.
He said, “The NRSS has been approved by the Federal Executive Council and endorsed by the National Economic Council. The smooth and successful driving of NRSS will be anchored by the National Road Safety Advisory Council.
“NRSAC is expected to be cascaded in the states for effective implementation of NRSS through the State Road Safety Advisory Council.”
He also said with the stringent measures being put in place for the training of drivers in the country, “safety on the highways is assured as well as generation of employment through driving schools.”
According to him, the World Bank’s intervention has led to manpower development and general capacity building; improved road safety practice and assistance in the creation of additional legal framework under in the corps.
Specifically, Oyeyemi said 30 patrol rank officers were intensively trained, in addition to the training of 30 managers at the California Highway Academy Patrol, US; and the support for the training of 40 officers on train –the-trainers for the delivery of liquid hydrocarbon products in France.
The import of this capacity development translated to the deployment of officers to the various petroleum products tank farms across the country to enhance operational safety.
Oyeyemi also spoke on the deployment of speed limiting devices on commercial vehicles, stressing that it was based on the safe systems approach.
“The implementation of the policy on the speed limiting devices has brought about visible reduction in traffic fatality in the first quarter, 2017 to date. There is an assurance that a greater degree of reduction in fatalities will be recorded at the end of the year arising from increased SLD use,” he added.