No fewer than 225 Road Traffic Crashes (RTCs) were recorded in Zone RS 5 of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the last quarter of 2020.
Mr Ayodele Kumapayi, Zonal Commanding Officer of the zone, comprising Edo, Delta and Anambra made the announcement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Monday.
Kumapayi said that 199 crashes were recorded within the same period in 2019, adding that in comparative analysis, the 2020 represented 12 per cent increase, compared to the previous year.
He also disclosed that 535 people were injured in 2020, while 466 were injured in 2019, representing 13 per cent increase.
Kumapayi said, however, that 116 deaths recorded in 2019 in the zone with 90 deaths occurring in 2020 -representing a 22 per cent decrease.
“Similarly, the number of serious cases recorded in 2020 was 128, against 96 recorded in 2019 and this is a 25 per cent increase.
“For minor cases we recorded 29 in 2020 and 37 in 2019 and the 2020 figure indicates 21 per cent decrease in our comparative analysis.
“For fatal cases, there was no increase or decrease as 66 fatal cases were recorded in both 2020 and 2019.”
The commander explained that the zone had studied the data carefully and identified areas with gaps and would improve on the flaws noticed.
He said that in view of this, the zone was fully prepared for the year 2021 ember-months campaign.
Kumapayi said that the zone had already received operational order from its national headquarters on the theme for this year: “Maintain Speed, Avoid Night Travel, Enjoy Quality Road Experience”.
He revealed that the FRSC would be using two approaches — the ember months campaign — and the operation zero tolerance, which would commence later in December to ensure safer motoring environment in the zone.
The officer disclosed that within this week, Delta and Edo would be flagging off the ember-months campaign on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7 respectively, adding that Anambra had already flagged off the campaign on Sept. 30.
Kumapayi disclosed that the zone had started some programmes, geared at educating the public to inculcate safety habits during the ember-months period.
He added that the objective was to deliver unique and safer road use experience.
Kumapayi stressed that the theme for this year was apt as findings and data available to the corps showed that one of the major causes of RTCs was speed.
“That is why it is apt that speed is part of the theme.
“Again night travel is very dangerous because it is always difficult to get help during eventualities.
“So we are advising the motoring public to drive within the prescribed speed limit required for each category of vehicles and roads.”
Kumapayi disclosed that to ensure success of the ember-months campaign, the corps would involve special marshals, traditional rulers and road safety clubs.
He also said that there would be free eye tests and screening for drivers, while fleet operators would be monitored so they don’t drive beyond the prescribed speed limit.
“We believe that if we can curtail speed, RTCs will be reduced to the barest minimum”, he said. (NAN)