By Moses Akaigwe
The Lagos State Government has tasked drivers and other road users in the state to obey traffic rules and regulations in order to reduce the rate of road crashes during the ‘ember’ months of September to December, and beyond.
The Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat said recently at the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Lagos Sector Command Workshop with the theme, “Volunteerism Beyond Ember Months: The Role of Special Marshals in Combating Road Traffic Crashes.”
The Year 2021 Special Marshal Sector Workshop was organised to sensitise motorists and other road users on road safety culture towards reduction of carnage in the ‘ember’ months of the year.
The Deputy Governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Kamar Olowoshago, stated that some road accidents are preventable, and can be avoided if drivers obey traffic rules and regulations.
He added that over-speeding, overloading and driving at nights often times were responsible for greater percentage of road crashes, hence the need for drivers to be more educated on all safety tips.
Explaining road crashes’ global status, the Deputy Governor stated that road accidents are a global phenomenon which have been of concern to the United Nations and the World Health Organization. In Nigeria, he said, road traffic accidents statistics revealed a serious and growing problem with absolute fatality rate and casualty figures rising rapidly.
He revealed that a total of 5,181 Nigerians lost their lives in road crashes in 2018 according to the FRSC data. In the year 2019 road transport data of the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reflected that 11,072 road crashes occurred and a total of 5,483 Nigerians got killed in the road crashes in 2021.
Hamzat further explained that Lagos has had its fair share in all of these developments as it has continued to attract large vehicular influx because of its prime socio-economic status in the country. As a result of this, he said, the state government has also continued to lead in the vanguard of advocacy in the areas of training and retraining of drivers through its agencies.
He identified such agencies the Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) and its sister agency, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to ensure sanity on the roads and prevent carnage.
“Our administration similarly introduced a technology driven device called Traffic Management Solution (TMS) essentially to help clamp down traffic violators for safety purposes and ease traffic gridlocks”, the Deputy Governor stated.
Earlier in his address, the FRSC Lagos Sector Commander, Olusegun Ogungbemide, recalled that special marshal once attracted so many committed volunteers who were ready to contribute their quota to traffic management with professionalism and integrity.
Ogungbemide evoked the esprit de corps among corps’ personnel that were ready to serve the nation with total responsibility and unalloyed interest towards promotion of safety culture, awareness and integrity on the roads.
Meanwhile, in continuation of the first phase of the Lagos Red Line Rail Mass Transit project (Oyingbo-Agbado), the Lagos State Government has diverted traffic at Kayode Ogunmokun road in Mushin effective yesterday, November 7, till December 31, 2021 – a period of six weeks.
In a statement released by the Ministry of Transportation, the Commissioner, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, disclosed that the diversion was a part of the traffic management plan for the construction of the Mushin Overpass, adding that the middle lanes will be cordon off for construction work to ensure safety.
Oladeinde further explained that traffic is being diverted to the lanes on both sides of the road to minimise the inconvenience. He also assured that signage would be mounted and traffic management personnel will be deployed to guide movement during the course of the construction works.