The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has advised motorists to obey traffic regulations so as to avert road crashes during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The FRSC Sector Commander in Ebonyi, Mrs Stella Uchegbu, gave the advice on Saturday at Ochoudo Motor Park in Abakaliki during the FRSC “Ember” months road safety campaign.
Uchegbu said that the “Ember” months (September to December) had become synonymous with unwholesome practices by drivers, resulting in untold and preventable fatalities on the roads.
“Dangerous overtaking, vehicle overloading, used of mobile phones while driving, lane indiscipline, excessive speeding and use of extra lights have become the hallmark of drivers, especially during the festive period.
“It is unfortunate that despite the various enlightenment and enforcement policies of the FRSC, most drivers still flout traffic regulations, not minding the increase in human activities within the period,” she said.
The sector commander reminded the drivers that they had celebrated several Christmas festivities before and would still celebrate more if they decided to drive with care to stay alive.
“One needs to visit the hospitals to properly feel the negative effects of road accidents on the people. Stakeholders should cooperate to prevent carnage on our roads.
“We advise motorists to adopt safe and defensive driving, which enables them drive for other motorists and strictly observe traffic regulations,” she said.
Uchegbu noted that the theme for the FRSC 2020 Operation Zero Tolerance Initiative, which was “Drive safe, stay safe”, was quite apt, adding that the initiative was aimed at minimising the risks of road accidents by 15 per cent and fatalities by 20 per cent.
Mr Anthony Ogbodo, representative of the FRSC South East Zonal Command, said that the corps had been aggressively enlightening motorists on road safety, adding, however, that some drivers had refused to imbibe such orientation.
“This will not be the first or last time we would be carrying out such campaigns. Some drivers are more interested in covering several trips within a short period to make gains,” he said.
Also speaking, ASP Umai Orji, who represented the Nigeria Police Force, called on drivers to always be mindful of their families back home as well as their passengers.
“I advise drivers not to confront FRSC officials and other security agencies on the roads but see them as people empowered by law to ensure safety,” he said.
In his remark, Chief Chukwuemeka Mgbeke, Chief Executive Officer of Ebonyi Transport Company, urged drivers to take responsibility for the safety of their passengers, right from their points of departure to their destinations.
One of the highpoints of the event was the free eye tests conducted for drivers by the FRSC, in collaboration with the Optometrists Association of Nigeria.