The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi has lamented increasing rate of violence by motorists against the corps’ officials.
He made this known Friday, March 24 in an address delivered at the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), Nigeria chapter 2017 Safety Summit which held at Lagos Oriental Hotel, Lekki.
Oyeyemi, who was presented by the Zonal Commander Officer of RS2, ACM Shehu Zaki, also said drivers were getting “excessively violent” on the road and resisting arrest.
The Corps Marshal said, “We also of recent have begun to observe the growing trend of violence from motorists in this country.
“The drivers we knew many years ago are certainly not the same drivers that we are seeing today.
“People are becoming excessively violent on the road and people are really resisting arrest.”
Stating that the problem would be overcome with time, Oyeyemi said, “FRSC is not bereft of ideas on how to deal with this kind of problems.”
Earlier, Oyeyemi while quoting statistics from the World Health Organisation’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 said that about 1.2 million die and 50 million are injured or maimed annually on the road globally.
“Looking at this grim statistics, it is a cause for concern and equally a cause for serious worry for any responsible nation.
“It is equally not news to each and every one seated here that Nigeria as a nation has been classified as one of the first five nations with the highest rate of road traffic crashes,” he noted.
The Corps Marshal explained that, “Road transportation, just like any other business is really a dynamic area.
“A lot of things that were not known before are today beginning to emerge and they are calling for urgent attention from responsible organisations such as ours to redouble our effort in seeing that we nip in the bud some of these demanding challenges.”
He said the FRSC being the only ISO-certified paramilitary organisation in Africa was poised to tackle the challenge of road traffic crashes through training and retraining of personnel, intensive enforcement, public enlightenment and sensitisation, and strengthening motor vehicle administration.
In the same vein, a Safety Engineer, Joshua Mogbo called attention to a report which identified road traffic crashes as the second-leading cause of violent death in Nigeria behind terrorism.
“Do you know that road accidents is the second highest source of violent deaths in Nigeria, the highest being terrorism being perpetrated by Boko Haram and the ethnic militias?
“Does it shock you to know that Nigeria ranks the highest in terms of road traffic deaths according to the 2015 Global Status Report of the World Health Organisation on Road Safety?” he queried.
He said the WHO report was worrisome because over 90 percent of deaths due to road accidents occur in low-income and middle-income countries such as Nigeria which have less than half of the world’s vehicles.
The COREN-registered engineer said Nigeria’s situation was particularly unique because over 75 percent of movement of goods and humans happen via roads.
Stating that Nigeria has the longest road network in Africa, Mogbo stressed that the other means of transportation were unable to relieve the roads of traffic as they are “limited” and “restricted”.
He further stated that statistics show road accidents as one of the “10 chief global causes of death”.
“In fact, it shocked me to know that road accidents kill more people in Africa than even malaria, even more than HIV/AIDS,” he quipped.
In the lecture titled “Holistic and Effective Approach to Road Transport Safety,” Mogbo who recognised that road accidents is a global concern, urged road traffic stakeholders to synergise to stem the tide.
“Road fatality is a global concern and we have a lot as safety professionals to do about this.
“Yes, it is good that we are doing a lot in the oil and gas, construction and some other sectors but we need also to look into the road transport system,” he advised.