• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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FRSC on traffic rules

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On 10 April 2014 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on “Improving global road safety”. Among key decisions was the recognition of the importance of the efficient movement of people and goods and access to environmentally sound, safe and affordable transportation as a means to improve social equity, health, the resilience of cities, urban-rural linkages and the productivity of rural areas, and in this regard takes into account road safety as part of the effort to achieve sustainable development.

In tandem with the UN resolution, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), South-West Zone, recently promised to consult stakeholders in the transportation sector to discuss issues relating to traffic rules violation. The corps identified commercial drivers, okada riders and security agencies as parts of the stakeholders it would meet to deliberate on its challenges and strategise on possible solutions. The Zonal Commanding Officer, Mr. Godwin Ogagaoghene, made this remark in Lagos during a retreat programme on the theme, “Consultation, Reward and Punishment as a Sine-qua-non for a Stronger, Vibrant FRSC and Effective Service Delivery.”

The commander also tasked the senior officers from the zone to be committed to the corps’ objectives, adding that there would be rewards for compliance while those who failed to abide by its goals would be punished accordingly. In addition, he restated the resolve of the commission to get to the root cause of their challenges and see how they can eliminate them.

While we give kudos to the South West zone of the FRSC for this initiative, it will be imperative to make the consultation with stakeholders a regular activity across the six geo-political regions in Nigeria. Meanwhile, it is also worthwhile to highlight some deficiencies that the FRSC need to consider as well. The FRSC over the years has focussed so much on private vehicles on the highway to the neglect of commercial vehicles. The commercial buses more often than not are the more involved in careless and dangerous driving, overloading, stopping and picking passengers on major roads, driving on pedestrian walk ways and their vehicles especially those on intra city transportation are rarely maintained. Most often you find commercial vehicles carrying two passengers in the front seat with only one seat belt; as well as driving without a driver’s licence; in fact the list is endless, but they are rarely stopped or penalised by the FRSC.

Some of the functions of the FRSC as established by FRSC Act 2007 cap 141 laws of the federation of Nigeria generally relates to: Making the highway safe for motorists and other road users; recommending works and devices designed to eliminate or minimize accidents on the highways and advising the Federal and State Governments including the Federal Capital Territory Administration and relevant governmental agencies on the localities where such works and devices are required; and educating motorists and members of the public on the importance of discipline on the highway amongst others.

Consequently, we call on the FRSC to step up its education programme for drivers, motorist and the general public; while we urge them to liaise with the Ministry of works to get the highways properly marked to ensure that drivers keep to lane; provide adequate road signs; and also check the movement of articulated vehicles carrying containers, fuel, and other cargoes on our roads full of pot holes which poses great danger to other road users. If need be, let these category of vehicles move only in the night, for there is no effort that is too much to save human life.