The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), on Friday launched the end of the year sensitization campaign in Ebonyi, aimed at creating awareness among motorists and other road users on the importance of safety on the highways.
The event which held at Ezzamgbo Central Motor Park, in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi, was attended by hundreds of motorists, commercial motorcyclists, as well as tricycle operators and other road users.
The Unit Commander of FRSC, Mr. Kehinde Ayuba, who spoke, said that the sensitization campaign was designed to sensitize motorists and other road users on the importance of imbibing highway safety consciousness.
According to him, the Corps chose the end of the year period for the sensitization due to the high vehicular and human traffic that usually characterized the last quarter of the year referred to as ’ember’ months.
He said that the theme of the 2017 end of the year sensitization campaign is ‘Right to Life on the Highways Is not Negotiable.’
Ayuba who is the Unit Commander of the Nkalagu Unit Command said that it was the right of every road user especially motorists, to drive to stay alive.
He also noted that the right to life was not negotiable, and urged the motoring public not to compromise their safety on the roads.
“The annual end of the year Road Safety Campaign which we kicked off today has created immeasurable awareness to the general motoring public and other road users.
“As a lead agency in traffic management in the country and a world-class organization with the International Standard Organization certification, FRSC in 2010 keyed into the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety.
“The objective is reducing road crashes in Nigeria by 50 per cent by the year 2020.
“The Corps has since set its own objectives yearly and this year’s objectives to reduce road traffic crashes by 15 per cent and 25 per cent fatality,” Ayuba said.
He appealed to motorists especially commercial drivers to avoid over-speeding, overloading, use of cell phones while driving, among other anti-road safety activities.
” Avoid over speeding, overloading, wrongful overtake and use of cell phones, which put your lives and property in great danger and which usually characterize the period.
“Remember that it is only the living that celebrates and that road safety is everybody’s business,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi FRSC Sector Commander, Mrs. Stella Ukwegbu, said that the Ebonyi Command of the FRSC had reduced road traffic crashes to barest minimum due to increased surveillance and enforcement of road traffic rules.
She urged the road users, especially commercial motorists, commercial motorcyclists and their tricycle counterparts to be more safety conscious while on the highways.
Ukwegbu frowned at non-wearing of car seat belts by commercial motorists and non-wearing of helmets by the commercial motorcyclists.
She said that the act amounted to negotiating their safety on the roads as well as compromising the safety of other road users.
“As a lead agency charged with maintaining safety on the highways, we enjoin the road users to imbibe safety measures while on the highways in order to stay safe.
“Safety of lives and property on the highways is critical, hence we are going to intensify our surveillance and enforcement to maintain zero road crashes in the state during the Christmas and New Year festive periods.
“I urge motorists, especially the commercial motorists and their counterparts, the commercial motorcyclists to always wear their seat belts, helmets and avoid dangerous over take, over speeding, among other activities capable of compromising safety on the highways.
“When you drink do not drive, when you are fatigued do not enter the steering and always check your health status especially your blood pressure and sugar levels” she said.
Mr. Joseph Unah, Secretary of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Ezzamgbo Central Motor Park, in an interview with NAN described the sensitization campaign as timely and commendable.
He said that members would implement all the safety tips and measures enumerated at the campaign.
Other participants including Alloy Nkwegu, John Odah, and Simon Elom, who spoke to NAN, explained that the exercise had further enlightened them on safety measures on highways
NAN further reports that over 200 persons including motorists, commercial motorcyclists, their tricycle counterparts and other members of the public, received free medical services offered by the medical team of the Corps.