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Road accidents in Nigeria

Road accidents have continued to be a major problem in Nigeria, claiming the lives of many people and leaving others with permanent injuries. According to the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), between January and March 2023 alone, 1,441 people lost their lives in 2,733 crashes while 8,339 were injured.

The Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting on the development and implementation of policy on pre-fitted speed limiting devices on locally assembled and imported vehicles in Nigeria.

Biu pointed out that over 89 per cent of these crashes were caused by speeding and attributed the high number of fatalities to a lack of behavioural and attitudinal change towards road safety in the country. He emphasized that while education and awareness campaigns are important, they are not enough to address the issue. To combat the problem, the FRSC has taken steps to ensure compliance with the UN Decade of Action on road safety, particularly as it relates to safer vehicles. The organization believes that if good mobility is achieved through vehicle design and manufacturing, crashes will reduce on Nigerian roads.

Road accidents in Nigeria

The FRSC has also been working to enforce the installation of speed limiters on vehicles across the country. According to the Corps Marshal, over 173,573 vehicles have been installed with speed limiters since the commencement of implementation. However, a large number of registered commercial vehicles in Nigeria are yet to comply with this requirement, which has prompted the need for the new policy on pre-fitted speed limiters.

In February, the new Sector Commander in Cross River State, Mrs. Elizabeth Akinlade, reiterated the FRSC’s mandate to reduce road accidents by 15 per cent. During a courtesy call to the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Calabar, Akinlade sought cooperation from journalists in sensitizing the public on the importance of the FRSC’s enforcement efforts, stating that many people do not realize that the goal is to help Nigerians stay alive. She emphasized the need for motorists to comply with traffic rules and regulations, stating that “motorists have a responsibility to ensure safety on the road, so drive for you to be alive.”

In April, Mr Felix Theman, the Gombe Sector Commander of the FRSC, revealed that 24 deaths were recorded in 166 road accidents in Gombe State between January and March. He attributed the accidents to wrongful overtaking, failure to obey speed limits, overloading, use of phones while driving, underage driving, and other factors. Theman noted that motorcycles and tricycles were major contributors to the crashes, with 128 of them involved in the accidents recorded.

A major area of concern identified by Theman was the increasing number of underage drivers in the state. The FRSC has intensified its enforcement efforts to ensure that children do not engage in any form of driving on roads, which could lead to crashes and fatalities. The sector commander cautioned 18 underage drivers within the period under review.

The FRSC’s efforts towards reducing road accidents are commendable and should be supported by all stakeholders. It is essential that road users comply with traffic rules and regulations, especially regarding vehicle speed and usage of electronic devices while driving. The government should provide adequate funding for road safety campaigns and infrastructure development to ensure safer roads and reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on Nigerian roads.

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