CORPS Marshal Jonas Agu has lamented the countless deaths and injuries on the Nigeria highways, blaming the incessant road crashes to what he called distractions by both drivers and pedestrians.
Corps Marshall Agu who spoke in Awka, Anambra State, yesterday, during the 7th Annual conference and Federal Road Safety Corp/NYSC Essay competition Award 2018, said making phone calls while driving by drivers and pedestrians walking along the road were major causes of road crashes in Nigeria.
He further attributed road crashes across the country to bad roads, attitude of drivers who ignore the presence of other road users, overloading of vehicles, drivers’ nonchalance to check conditions of their vehicles like bad tyres, faulty brakes etc, lamenting that people’s lives were daily threatened once they were on the road.
“Pedestrians, cyclists, Keke operators and motorists are all guilty of distractions because they use cell phones while driving on the road. Pedestrians’ safety is very import, same also for those behind the wheels. It is always a tragedy when road crash occurs”, Agu who was former Lagos state sector commander noted.
He also faulted Marshalls who equally run foul on the rules and regulations on the roads and appealed to officials in authority to deal with the issue of providing pedestrian pavement with dispatch to safeguard lives.
Earlier, in a welcome address, Chairman of the occasion, Henry Nwasike cautioned drivers and commuters to ensure they fasten seat belts while on the road, saying that road accidents have claimed more deaths than Ebola.
With the theme, ‘Impact of social and technological distractions on pedestrian safety in Nigeria’, Nwasike cautioned drivers and commuters to ensure they fasten seat belts while on the road.
He said, “Safety involves the pedestrian. It is common to see people using phones, ear piece when they are on the road. When the driver uses phone while driving, it causes distraction…you swerve off the road, crash into people and there by killing somebody”.
In an interview, the founder of Kwapda’ as Rangra’ an Samson Douglas (KRSD), Monica Mensem cautioned all road users to apply reason while on the highway, saying it will help to save lives, while also saving families from agony and lamentation over death or injury of their loved ones.
Mensem recalled that the foundation was set up after a reckless motorist knocked down Samson (her son), who later died, lamenting, “My son was a law graduate…on 23, September 2011, he was knocked down by a hit and run driver, he died from excess bleeding. Up till now we have not found the driver.
“At the burial, I decided to set up this foundation, to campaign against such hit and run incidence, I cannot wait for another reckless killing of innocent citizens”.
A communiqué issued at the end of the kwapda’ as Road Safety campaign, among others urged for advocacy, awareness campaign and sensitization on drug abuse and alcohol consumption, using traditional rules, motor parks, churches, mosques, markets, road shows etc.
He charged vehicle owners to pass through driving schools, obtain their driving license before driving a car, bus or trucks in the country highways.
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