Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has again declared that accidents during the ember months are caused by carelessness on the part of drivers and not due to any demonic spirits.
Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, who reeled out statistics indicating that 1,602 people perished in road accidents that occurred during the ember months in 2017 disclosed that 2018 ember month campaign is tagged Safe Driving Saves Lives.
Oyeyemi who was represented by the Zonal Commanding Officer, Kingsley Agomoh at the campaign, which was inaugurated at the Igbogene axis of the East-West Road, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State said a total of 20,196 people and 4,503 vehicles were involved in the 2017 ember month accidents.
“The ember months is a period of festivities and many people erroneously believe that evil forces on the roads are responsible for road crashes and fatalities. But the struggle on the part of most people to travel to meet their loved ones that causes it and more trips on the part of commercial drivers to make more profit in preparation for the Yuletide without adequate rest are mainly responsible for the road mishap”.
Oyeyemi said the corps had resolved to use the media and all public enlightenment platforms to dispel the erroneous belief and prefer a way forward for reduction and possible elimination of road traffic crashes.There is a need for drivers to have their drivers’ license, highway codes, change from old plate numbers to new ones to ensure uniformity in the corps’ licensing scheme, which will be captured in the central database of the corps” he said.
In his remarks, the Bayelsa Sector Commander, Ikechukwu Igwe, said the campaign had taken a different dimension from a day’s activities to a three-day programme.
He said children were also integrated into the programme to carry the message of safety to the adults adding that the children would be involved in distribution of fliers to road users.
He added that the children, numbering 150, would also visit the mosques, markets, motor parks and churches to sensitise road users on the need to be careful this period.