Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Yuletide Patrol Reduces Road Accidents Nationwide - Chidoka

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said on Tuesday that the current nationwide special yuletide patrol had reduced the rate of road crashes in the country.

Its Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka, said this in Onitsha, Anambra, shortly before embarking on an aerial surveillance of roads in South-East, South-South and North-Central zones of the country.

He said that the aerial patrol was part of the commission's operation zero accident campaign during the yuletide period.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commission launched the campaign on Dec. 19, which involved the deployment of thousands of its officers and men as well as logistics to major roads across the country.

Chidoka said that with the recent donation of vehicles and facilities to the commission by the World Bank, the organisation had been able to keep the road crashes level low and maintained continuous flow of traffic in envisaged traffic dense spots.

"On the statistics between Dec. 19 and Dec. 23, 2013, 107 people were killed in road crashes as against 156 people killed during the corresponding period last year.

"We had had 214 road crashes within these five days while in 2012 within the same days, we had 236 road crashes.

"And from the statistics, there had been reduction in the road crashes incident and deaths and I believe that there had been general decrease in road deaths and crashes this year compared with 2012."

He said that the commission had arrested 4,051 offenders for 4,256 offences within the last five days, adding that the FRSC mobile court had arraigned 569 suspects, convicted 404 and discharged 85 persons.

Chidoka said the special patrol would run to Jan. 12, while the FRSC regular and special marshals would be on alert throughout the period.

"The special patrol is in line with President Goodluck Jonathan's directive to make sure there is traffic flow and travellers do not suffer unduly," he said.

He urged road users to be patient and to avoid speeding, adding that they should also maintain a single lane "especially where traffic is dense".

Chidoka thanked the army, air force, police and state traffic agencies for their support to the commission

On the aerial surveillance, he explained that it would help to inform the FRSC officers and men on ground on where attention was needed as well as monitor "clear view of traffic movement within a distance of a road".

Meanwhile, the commission said it had deployed 34,000 personnel, 484 vehicles, 102 patrol bikes and four helicopters for the yuletide special patrol nationwide.

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