Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Directorate of Road Traffic Services, (DRTS), took to the streets of Abuja, last week, to intensify campaign against motorists’ bad attitude on the road.
The campaign, which was part of the ember month sensitization, was meant to drive home the message of safety on the road especially during the yuletide season.
The campaign which took the shape of street carnival took place at major motor parks and markets in Abuja and it focused on negative effect of alcohol intake on drivers.
Surprisingly, the VIO officials that hitherto had “cat and mouse” relationship with motorists, came down “their
high horses” to interact with the motorists and get them properly educated on the importance of safe driving during the yuletide season.
They went along with musical instruments, fliers with safety inscriptions and pictorial messages, and expert in pidgin and other local languages who helped in translating the written safety instructions into more understandable information for the motorists.
With the aid public address system, the local language expert was screaming in loud voice, “No drink alcohol and drive!, avoid Erujeje, Alomo and other local gin wey get too much alcohol, e no good for body and e de cause accident.”
Led by the agency spokesman, Kalu Emetu, the Officers distributed the fliers and their safety messages to commuters and motorists in Wuse market, Utako market, Julius Berger roundabout and they ended at Jabi motor park.
They patiently listened to the motorists and passersby who, out of curiosity, visited them with barrage of complaints and enquiries. However, immediate answers were provided to quench the curiosity of the motorists.
Intermittently, the officers engaged dancers who were able to attract the attention of passersby and motorists, to the safety campaign of the vehicle inspection officers. Emetu told journalists at the end of the exercise that it was part of its routine enlightenment programme meant to expose motorists and commuters to certain safety measures they ought to know, for their safety and that of their passengers.
He said: “It is a regular exercise for us in VIO. But we usually intensify the enlightenment campaign during the yuletide season. Reason being that records have confirmed that more people travel during the Christmas and New year celebrations, and more road crashes are recorded during the period.
“We needed to remind the drivers of the need to avoid alcohol, making or receiving calls and other things that
could distract them while on steering. Even though we do that all year round, but we increase the tempo during yuletide.”