By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja, Dec. 11, 2020 (NAN) The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Kogi, has inaugurated the campaign for 2020 Ember Months and Mega Rally, to ensure safety on roads and reduce the fatality of crashes in the state.
In his remarks during the Flagg off ceremony in Lokoja, the Sector Commander, RS8 Kogi, CC Solomon Agure, said the 2020 Ember Months Campaign was targeted at inducing the best global road use practices into the people of the State and the nation at large.
According to Agure, the campaign theme, “Drive safe, Stay safe”, was deliberately chosen to allow all and sundry reflect deeply and critically analyzed issues of road traffic rules and regulations as well as their attendance consequences.
He noted that Kogi as a confluence State remained a traffic melting point linking States from the North, South and East has a special traffic challenges especially during the festive period.
”This comes with disobedience to traffic rules and regulations by motorists and road users owing to improperly planned journeys leading to speeding, dangerous driving and other road vices which often times culminate in Road Traffic Crashes (RTC).
”In view of the above the Command has put some measures in place to checkmate these ugly trends to ensure safety of lives and properties.
”These include identification of black spots within the major roads in the state, gridlock areas, robust public enlightenments and domesticated public education on road usage and related issues, carrying out of road audits and survey, among others”, he said.
The sector commander stressed that Road Traffic Crashes do not just happen; but caused by lawless, reckless, negligent, impatient, unskilled drivers, and of mechanically deficient vehicles, among others.
He, therefore called on all transport stakeholders and Government officials to shun reckless driving and also to ensure their drivers and vehicles were in good shape and working conditions.
He added: ”Avoid the temptation of the rush period and remember you owe the passengers the obligation of safely conveying them to their destinations”.
Agure commended Gov. Yahaya Adoza Bello and his deputy, Chief Edward David Onoja for their total commitment to supporting FRSC towards the propagation of Road Safety in Kogi State and the Nation at large.
He thanked all the Sister Security Agencies, and traditional rulers in state for their complimentary roles towards achieving one common goal of nation building through safety on the roads.
”We must all joint hands together to stop road traffic crashes on our roads.
”I wish us all a crash free end of year and New Year celebration in Kogi State as we shall all drive safely into 2021”, Agure said.
Also speaking, the FRSC Zonal Commanding Officer, RS8 Ilorin, ACM Victor Nwakolo, stressed that the campaign was to reawaken the consciousness of all road users on the need to “drive safe and stay safe”, especially during yuletide season and New Year.
According to Nwokolo, FRSC analysis shows a reduction in Road Crashes data in the State compared with previous years.
”A total number of 355 road traffic crashes (RTC) was recorded in Kogi State in 2019 with 1,148 person injured, 194 person killed and 558 vehicles involved.
”While, from January to November 2020, a total of 326 Road traffic crashes recorded with 904 people injured, 146 person killed and 482 vehicles involved.
”This gives 7.9 % increase in RTC, 7.5% decrease in people injured and 29.6% decrease in people killed when compared over 11 months record of 2019 and 2020.
”This is quite appreciable but calls for more efforts on our part and support from Government and other agencies to uphold this stance and further reduce it to the barest minimum by end of 2020”, Nwokolo said.
He, therefore, urged road users to guide against road traffic offences such as drunkenness, overloading, dangerous overtaking, kid driving, use of worn out tyres, and refusal to obey traffic lights or signs, warning that the corps would not take it kindly with any offender.
He emphasised the commitment of the Corps to its mandate of creating safer motoring environment for the good people of Kogi State and the Nation at large.
In his remarks, the Kogi State Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello, commended the efforts of FRSC in ensuring safety on Kogi roads and across Nigeria at large.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Folashade Ayoade, further thanked the corps for reopening Jamata bridge to ease motorists of traffic hardship during the yuletide season, urging them to extend the gesture to Itobe bridge.
The governor enjoined motorists to be safety conscious and not endangering the lives of passengers and theirs, while assuring the corps of the continuous support of his government to ensure safety on roads in Kogi state.