Stakeholders in the transportation sector have urged commercial vehicle drivers to embrace safety habits to reduce road accidents.
The stakeholders, who gathered in Lagos at the maiden road safety awareness programme organised by Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIOTA), in partnership with Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos Command, said drivers must obey all traffic rules while ensuring proper vehicles maintenance.
CIOTA’s President, Bashir Jamoh, represented by Chizoba Anyika, while speaking at the campaign ceremony, disclosed that across the world, road traffic accidents accounted for about 1.25 million deaths and 50 million injuries each year.
She said: “These injuries can lead to life-long disability, including brain and spinal cord injury. Natural disasters and road traffic injuries are the leading causes of deaths, especially among young people. With only two per cent of the world’s vehicles but 16 per cent of road fatalities, Africa has been hit hard by the global road safety crisis.”
She said the realisation of roadworthiness, driven by safety compliance and professionalism has been the concern for all as a nation, and a concern for transport professionals. Hence, the reason to explore and partner with drivers in proffering solutions to the safety challenges in the road sector.
Lagos Sector Commander, FRSC, Olusegun Ogungbemide, represented by Unit Commander, FRSC, Ojota, Spence Olakoju while addressing motorists, noted that transportation plays a pivotal role in the development of the economy of any country and road safety awareness is crucial.
According to him, the carnage on the road must be drastically reduced, stating that there are many factors that lead to accidents.
Director of Lagos State Computerised Vehicle Inspection Service (LACVIS), Segun Obayendo, however, urged Nigerians to stop cutting corners in the acquisition of driver’s license, adding that this would help in reducing road crashes.
Obayendo said: “We are into vehicle inspection. We partner with the government as technical partners, and we not just inspect vehicles, we are also testing drivers, both theoretical and verbal.
“We have set up a state-of-the-art computer-based test on highway code to know if you even understand the rules of the game. What is the rule of the game, the game of driving? So, people or applicants need to be tested before acquiring a driver’s license.
“This event is one of those things that we all need to be doing. Most of the drivers we spoke to today, they have seen themselves as knowing it all as far as driving is concerned, but we needed to show them that you cannot know it all, there are latest developments,” he said
Also speaking, former Permanent Secretary in Lagos State Ministry of Transport and CIOTA Lagos Chairman, Taiwo Salaam, said the state government has installed cameras on the roads to monitor traffic offenders.
He, however, pleaded with motorists to abide by road safety rules and regulations for their own safety and that of their family members.
Secretary, Lagos State Parks and Garden Agency, Olayiwola Lemboye, said the agency has rebranded the union in Lagos by sensitising members on the need to drive safely on the road.
He said the leadership created a media team to sensitise the public about the reformed agency and empower drivers under its catchment area. He charged drivers to curtail road crashes by obeying the traffic rules and regulations.