By Kenneth Jukpor
Following the just concluded 2018 Easter special patrol, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has disclosed that it recorded a total of one thousand and seventy-one (1,071) people rescued from a total of one hundred and sixty (160) crashes nationwide, with 1,150 people involved compared to 963 people involved in 2017.
The Corps revealed that there was a significant increase in the number of people rescued without injury during the 2018 Easter special patrol exercise which was given a wider coverage than previous years, when compared to the same period of Easter celebration in 2017.
The Corps Public Education Officer, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, stated that 431 people were rescued without injuries in 2017 Easter special patrol, while 543 were rescued during the 2018 Easter special patrol without injuries, which marks 26% improvement from 2017 record.
However, he noted that the number of persons rescued with injuries in road traffic crashes during the 2018 Easter celebration period were 528 compared to 475 in 2017, which signifies an increase by 12%.
In the same vein, he mentioned that from the total number of 160 crashes, 38 were fatal crashes compared to 33 in 2017 which represents 15% increase; 94 were serious crashes compared to 89 in 2017 which represents 5.6% increase; and 28 were minor crashes compared to 25 in 2017 which represents 12% increase.
He added that of the 1,150 persons involved in road traffic crashes during the 2018 Easter celebration period, 247 Vehicles were involved compared to 209 in 2017, and 79 persons lost their lives in 2018 compared to 57 in 2017. He gave the breakdown of vehicles involved in road traffic crashes across the nation as follows: 15 tanker/trailers, 42 trucks, 56 buses, 78 cars, 40 motorcycles, 8 Tricycles, 6 pickups, and 2 animals.
Explaining the reasons for the progress, the Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, Kazeem stated that the Corps now has a wider coverage due to the establishment of more FRSC Commands, outposts, road side clinics and Zebra points who now feed in reports from different routes that were hitherto not thoroughly covered. He stressed that the increase in number of road crashes, increase in the number of persons involved, and increase in the number of persons killed is due to the reports that emanated from the new FRSC formations.
Recall that Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi had earlier directed that the 2018 Easter special patrol covered 39 corridors which includes but not limited to Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Kebbi; Mokwa-Birnin Yero-Zaria; Maiduguri-Biu-Numan-Jalingo-Wukari; Lafia-Langtang-Pankshin-Jos; Abuja-Lokoja-Okene; Lokoja-Auchi-Benin; Onitsha-Njaba-Owerri-Umuahia, Ibadan-Oyo-Ogbomosho; and Ibadan-Ogere-Shagamu.
In view of the directive of the Corps Marshal which is a move away from other years where the focus was on critical corridors, Kazeem noted that the Corps intensified its Patrol operations and Enlightenment campaigns by giving adequate coverage to all 39 routes across Nigeria.
Comparing the Corps’ records for the 2018 Easter special patrol with 2017, a total of 5,836 offenders were apprehended in 2018 compared to 7,361 in 2017; a total of 6,551 offences were recorded in 2018 compared to 8,896 in 2017; and a total of 3,085 impoundments were made compared to 3,500 in 2017.
The Corps also revealed that with respect to Mobile Court sittings that was spread across Nigeria during this period, a total of 337 persons were arraigned in 2018 Easter Special patrol compared to 399 persons in 2017; 318 offenders were convicted in 2018 compared to 379 in 2017; and 16 persons discharged and acquitted in 2018 compared to 17 in 2017.
Speaking further, Kazeem disclosed that in 2018, enlightenment through motor park rallies increased by 4.81% in 2018, and radio programmes increased by 25.78 in 2018.
Kazeem noted that the positive changes in the reduction of offences and offenders, impoundments, and arraignments captured above is attributable to increase in Public Enlightenment, Enforcement, Traffic control, cooperation from Stakeholders, and the fully automated process of obtaining driver’s licence which ensures that Motorists must be trained in Driving Schools before they are qualified to apply for their Licences.