According to reports, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, on Tuesday said South West states recorded the highest number of road crashes during the commission’s just-concluded Special Sallah Patrol.
Oyeyemi said this when he spoke at the Zonal Commanding Officers Workshop in Abuja.
He said the affected states included Ondo, Osun and Oyo, which recorded the highest number of the crashes.
Oyeyemi said: “The crash pattern has shifted again to the South West and most of the crashes recorded during the last festive period were along Akure, Ilesha, Ife and Ibadan highways.
“This means the dynamics is for us to refocus on the south-western corridors, hence the new challenge. Therefore, we are relocating some of our personnel to ensure we stem this.
“Let’s get this clear; life has no replacement, the corps recorded about four per cent reduction in crashes compared to that of last year.
“These figures are lives of human beings not rams or cattle, so, we need to be careful and whatever we can do to save all these lives are of paramount importance to the nation.”
Oyeyemi reiterated the corps’ commitment to the October 1, 2016 date for the implementation and enforcement of the Speed Limiting Device, adding that this was not time for objection but for saving lives.
He said the FRSC had been working with road transport unions on the issue, and that drivers could not afford to ignore its implementation.
The corps marshal said there would be a review with the leadership of the various transport unions before the enforcement.
He stated: “There is no going back on the speed limiting device that is the stand of the corps. We need to carry out our own responsibility to save lives.
“Any way we can get these things done is acceptable, that is what the Acts says and that is why the court judgement says that what we are doing is within the ambit of the law that sets up the corps.”
According to Oyeyemi, the enforcement issue is not a matter of life and death; it is a gradual process because the FRSC is fully aware of the prevailing economic situation.
He said that the corps would continue with advocacy, education and enlightenment, and that gradually compliance would work out.
He said the target was not commercial intra city vehicles such as the taxis but intercity and interstate vehicles who plied the highways.
Oyeyemi said FRSC was also targeting commercial vehicles such as tankers, trailers, and trucks, high capacity buses such as the luxury buses and mini buses that were on inter city services.
He said the goal was to use any method possible to cut down speed as it was killing a lot of citizens.
Zaki Alkali, the Assitant Corps Marshal and Lagos Zonal Commanding Officer attributed the rate of accidents in the South West zone to the volume of traffic on the roads.
Alkali said the FRSC had put in place some plans to reduce the crashes and would look inward to come up with better strategies to achieve it.
He said some of these strategies had to do with the road engineering itself, though it was not the statutory responsibility of FRSC.
He said the corps was collaborating with the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to improve the standard of the road and also carry out public enlightenment to stem the increase of road crashes in the South West.