…As State Gov Flags off Ember Months Safety Campaign
The Governor of Anambra state of Nigeria, Dr Willie Obiano has flagged off the state edition of the end of year special road safety campaign with directives to security agencies to commence special operations aimed at curtailing the sale of alcoholic drinks and illicit drugs at all motor parks in the state.
The Governor gave the directive on Tuesday while addressing special end of year awareness creation rally held at Chisco Motor Park Onitsha, before flagging it off.
The Governor expressed concern to the safety and security of people of the state, nothing that he would continue to mobilise members of the security agencies operating in the state to work towards safety and security to all road travellers during the forthcoming yuletide period. He described as worrisome, a situation where some motorists violate traffic rules and regulations with impunity and in the process endanger their lives and that of other road users. This he said must stop, as such violators would now be easily detected through the sophisticated equipment that have been provided to facilitate law enforcement in the state to make the environment safe and secure for all.
Dr Obiano further noted that his administration has in demonstration has invested heavily on infrastructural development including roads and road furniture. He urged all road users to be safety conscious during the forthcoming Xmas and New Year celebration to avert the ugly incidents that characterise the period.
He particularly called on motorists to avoid using phone while driving and indulging in drink driving,saying drinking under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs is a dangerous act that could lead to arrest of the offenders and impoundment of their vehicles by security agencies. He further appealed to road users especially, pedestrians to ensure that they make use of pedestrian bridges wherever they are provided and for motorists to avoid overloading their vehicles in the name of making fast gains.
“Don’t overload your vehicles; don’t speed and always use your seatbelt because your safety could depend on it,” he admonished the people.
Governor Obiano announced that as part of his government’s commitment to issues of safety during the forthcoming yuletide season, he had held a meeting with the Governor of Delta state, where they both resolved to collaborate with FRSC and other security agencies to ensure that the perennial holdup that occur at the Niger bridge Onitsha and other black spots that cause the usual experience of people sleeping on the road do not happen this year .
He further announced provision of 40 ambulance vehicles to be stationed at strategic locations within the state to render prompt medical services to road users who might be in stress situation. In addition, he pledged continuous support of his government to all security agencies operating in the state.
In his remarks, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi thanked the Governor for his unwavering commitment to issues of road safety, which he said has been clearly demonstrated through his consistent personal participation in ember months campaign since the past three years. The Corps Marshal noted that Governor Obiano’s provision of patrol and rescue vehicles to the FRSC in the state, his establishment of the state traffic management agency as well as rehabilitation of the Corps’ tow truck for prompt removal of obstructions were all practical demonstrations of how states can contribute to finding solutions to the perennial challenges of road safety in the country.
Oyeyemi further expressed satisfaction with the giant steps taken by the Governor in providing infrastructure for rapid development of the state. He particularly noted that provision of huge road infrastructure and furniture has made the state a sterling example for others to emulate.
The Corps Marshal pledged continuous support of FRSC to socioeconomic programmes of the state government through effective traffic management and sharing of relevant intelligence that could promote safety and security in the state. He further noted that the practice of organising FRSC annual special end of year campaign is informed by increase in human and vehicular traffic which is common during the last four months of the year coinciding with Christmas and New Year celebration. He urged motorists to obey traffic rules and regulations during and after the celebrations and avoid attributing road crashes during the period to demons or other evils.
He insisted that road traffic crashes don’t just happen, they are caused and can be precented through diligent observation of traffic rules and regulations. The FRSC Boss emphasised on the use of correct tyres by motorists and stressed the need for drivers to drive within the speed limits, assuring that with the comprehensive patrol strategy put in place by the FRSC for this year’s exercise, the issue of road travellers sleeping on the road due to road congestion would be a thing of the past. He warned against act of overloading Tippers through use of extra planks, saying directive has been issued to Commanding Offices across the country to impound such overloaded Tippers.
The Corps Marshal frowned at the practice of drink driving by some drivers and warned that culprits risk being convicted and sent to jail. He stressed that as part of the efforts being made by the Corps to ensure sanity on the nation’s highways, Mobile Courts would continue to be organised to try traffic violators, some of who could be convicted and sent to jail. Oyeyemi also appealed for support and collaboration with transport operators across the country to make this year’s special end of year campaign a success, noting that FRSC will not fail to provide necessary human and material resources that could make the roads safer and obstruction-free for all travelers during and after the celebration.
Highlight of the well attended rally which had as its theme: “Right To Life on the Highway: Not Negotiable,” and attracted members of the security agencies, transporters and enthusiastic members of the public was the cutting of the tape to declare the special end of year campaign in Anambra state open