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HURIWA-high road accidents in Nigeria

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By Abiodun Okunloye

FRSC had failed in its commitment to educate and protect road users.

Following a recent report from the National Bureau of Statistics, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has raised concern about the continual rise in road traffic crashes (RTC) and the increasing fatalities on Nigeria dangerous roadways. The group asserted that these startling statistics signify a devastating loss of priceless human lives rather than just being just numbers. All this still happened despite the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) commitment to reduce traffic accidents by just 5%.

In response, Emmanuel Onwubiko, who is the national coordinator for HURIWA, stated these remarks and explained that commendations in such a situation remain meaningless and ineffective in the midst of a catastrophic rise in RTCs of 6.01 percent from the previous quarter. According to him, the proof is crystal clear: the measures taken by the FRSC had fallen pathetically, and it is a measure of no trust in their ability to stop this menace.

4,387 lives were lost in RTCs during the first half of 2023.

He stated that it is obvious that the FRSC is lacking in some areas. The situation on the country roads remains poor despite the assurances given by the Corps Marshal/ Chief Executive Officer, Dauda Biu, that they would improve the data collection and analysis. It is terrible that 4,387 lives were lost in RTCs during the first half of 2023; this statistic must be addressed. The failure of the FRSC to effectively and fairly enforce traffic laws is squarely to blame for this situation.

Especially in states like Lagos and Ogun, the extortionist attitudes of some traffic enforcement officials reveal a fundamental problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. While drivers of private vehicles are subject to harassment, those who operate commercial vehicles, who are frequently the most serious offenders of traffic laws, are allowed to continue doing so without any consequences. This inequity does nothing but make the already dangerous conditions on the roads even worse.

The poor condition of the roads across the country is a significant factor.

Furthermore, the poor condition of the roads across the country is a significant factor that plays a role in the occurrence of accidents like these. The report clearly draws attention to the fact that there are bumps, potholes, and unpaved roads. Because of the state of the infrastructure, users face an increased risk of injury and even death. It is a glaring failure of governance that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible without any further delay.

HURIWA pointed out that the report highlights the necessity of better vehicle maintenance, discouragement of reckless driving among drivers, resisting driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and addressing the danger of using a phone while driving. Compounding these problems is a culture that encourages driving at unsafe speeds and a lack of education about the importance of road safety. It is high time that the government be seriously committed to reducing the number of RTCs.

Children and youth are significantly impacted.

Tragically, road accidents have a significant effect on children and youth. According to the World Health Organisation, up to 3.0 percent of Nigeria Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is lost due to these avoidable tragedies, an alarming indicator of the terrible toll road accidents take on human life. A radical change is necessary to improve road safety in Nigeria. He demanded swift action from both the federal and state governments and said the FRSC should step up its enforcement efforts in a way that is transparent, honest, and free of extortion and bribery.

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FRSC: Website

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