The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, has urged local government councils across the country to relocate markets from highways.
He made the call on Sunday in a statement in Abuja by the Corps Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem.
Oyeyemi said that the relocation of the markets would aid efforts to eradicate road traffic crashes on crowded highways and the attendant fatalities.
He also said it would help in supporting the existing operational efforts of the FRSC which were aimed at enhancing the safety of the motoring population.
Oyeyemi was reacting to Saturday’s road accident at Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, which claimed 16 lives.
In the accident, a DAF truck, loaded with bags of rice, rammed into some market stalls, as well as two cars and three motorcycles.
The corps marshal lamented that the loss of lives and properties could have been avoided.
He underscored the urgency to relocate markets adjacent to highways, saying that the FRSC was concerned about the rising statistics of innocent citizens losing their lives in such accidents.
He added that the FRSC had initiated impact-oriented operational strategies to curb the menace.
Oyeyemi, however, stressed that the strategies, no matter how good, would not yield the desired results if the local governments failed to relocate markets from busy highways.
He also advised road users to be more disciplined, while maintaining their vehicles regularly and obeying prescribed speed limits, especially in crowded places like markets.
“The fatal crash involved a total of 23 people, comprising 11 male adults, three male children, seven female adults and two female children.
“Out of the 23 people, seven people, comprising three male adults, three female adults and one male child, were rescued with different degrees of injuries and taken to the hospital,” the statement said in part.
It added that the 16 persons who were killed included eight male adults, two male children, four female adults and two female children.
The statement said that the corpses had been deposited at the mortuaries of the Specialist Hospital, Ikare and the General Hospital, Iwaro Oka, by FRSC emergency rescue teams.