From the just concluded 2019 Easter special patrol which lasted from Thursday 19 to Tuesday 23 April 2019, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has stated that it recorded a total of 120 crashes during the Easter celebration, as against a total of 160 crashes in the same period in 2018, representing 25% reduction in the total number of crashes that occurred during the 2019 Easter celebration.
The Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, revealed that this height was achieved due to an overwhelming increase in the total number of personnel deployed for patrol operations, effective traffic control, prompt rescue operations, aggressive public enlightenment campaigns including the effective utilization of the mass media, motor park rallies and advocacy programmes, and clearing of obstructions.
Speaking on the factors that led to such achievement, Kazeem stated thus; “The Corps will leverage and improve on this strategy for a better result in the future. The decrease in crashes recorded this year was because the Easter patrol operations were given a wider coverage than previous years, when compared to the same period of Easter celebration in 2018 and this increased visibility has gone a long way in compelling drivers to abide by established traffic laws”.
Continuing, he explained that during the 2019 celebration, a total of 1128 persons were involved as against 1163 persons in the same period in 2018 representing 3% decrease. In the same vein, the total number of persons rescued with injuries in road traffic crashes during the 2019 Easter celebration period was 513 compared to 534 in 2018, representing 4% decrease. While a total of 535 persons were rescued without injuries as against 577 persons in the previous year representing a total of 7% decrease.
In addition, he mentioned that from the total number of 120 crashes that occurred during the period, 5 were fatal representing 1.2% of the entire crashes that occurred, resulting in a total of 46 deaths that represents 57.5% of the total of 80 deaths recorded during the period.
Further to that, a total of 5 crashes claimed at least 3 lives during the celebration period, these crashes occurred in old Oyo on 19th April, 2019 claiming 07 lives, another occurred in Gombe on 21st April, 2019 claiming 13 lives. While 03 lives were lost in Ibeju on 22 April, 2019, 19 persons also died in a worse single crash that occurred in Azare on 23 April, 2019 and 04 people were killed in a crash that occurred at Toll gate along Benin-Ore road on the same day. The most prevalent offence recorded during the period was Seatbelt Use Violation with 1942 offenders apprehended.
Quoting the Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, Kazeem stated that the Corps now has a wider coverage due to the establishment of more FRSC Commands, Outposts, road side clinics and Zebra points who now feed in reports from different routes that were hitherto not thoroughly covered. He stressed that the decrease in number of road crashes, decrease in the number of persons involved, and decrease in the number of persons killed is due to the overwhelming increase in the number of personnel, both regular and special marshals amounting to over 35,000 personnel deployed across the country.
It will be recalled that the Corps Marshal had earlier directed that the 2018 Easter special patrol to cover major corridors which include but not limited to Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Kebbi; Mokwa-Birnin Yero-Zaria; Maiduguri-Biu-Numan-Jalingo-Wukari; Akwanga-Lafiya-Makurdi; Jos-Bauchi-Gombe; Katsina-Kano-Wudil-Dutse-Azare-Potiskum, Kaduna-Saminaka-Jos, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano, Okene-Ogori-Isua-Owo; Makurdi-Otukpo-Obollo Afor-9th Mile; Asaba-Abraka-Ughelli-Warri corridor; Ibadan-Ogere-Sagamu; Sagamu-Mowe-Lagos; Abuja-Lokoja-Okene; Lokoja-Auchi-Benin; Onitsha-Njaba-Owerri-Umuahia, Ibadan-Oyo-Ogbomosho; and Ibadan-Ogere-Shagamu.
In view of Corps Marshal’s directives on the need to ensure a comprehensive surveillance and patrol of the stated corridors including the alternative routes; which is a move away from previous years where focus was on critical corridors, Kazeem noted that FRSC has intensified its Patrol operations and Enlightenment campaigns by giving adequate coverage to all the routes identified across Nigeria.
Comparing the Corps’ records for the 2019 Easter special patrol with 2018, a total of 6961 offenders were apprehended in 2019 as against 5936 in 2018; and a total of 7708 offences were recorded in 2019 compared to 6551 in 2018.
Kazeem also revealed that a number of Mobile Court sittings were conducted across country during the period, that the progress recorded in the reduction of crashes recorded this year is attributable to increase in Public Enlightenment, Enforcement, Traffic control, cooperation from Stakeholders, prompt clearing of obstructions and the fully automated process of obtaining Drivers licence which ensures that Motorists must be trained in Driving Schools before they are qualified to apply for their Licences.