The Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC) has blamed increase in road traffic crashes during festive periods on disregard for traffic rules by motorists across the country.
Mr Aliyu Gumi, Zonal Commanding Officer, Zone RS7, Abuja, stated this at the commencement of “Don’t Drink and Drive’’ campaign on Thursday in Minna.
Gumi said that “ember months’’ were special because of increased activities such as harvesting and transportation of farm produce, weddings, convocations, Christmas and end-of-year parties.
He said that owing to a lot of activities associated with the period, extra caution was required in driving on the roads.
“It is the attitude of road users during this period that is responsible for the increase in road crashes that often occur during this period.
“It is the motorists that throw caution to the wind during this period that are responsible for the unnecessary waste of lives and property on the highways during the ember months,’’ he said.
Gumi urged road users to adopt the right attitude of using the roads in creating safe traffic environment toward complimenting government efforts in constructing and maintaining road infrastructure.
“The needed attitude is the one that gives adequate patience, consideration and respect to the rights of all road users.
“We must shun all forms of recklessness and road rage, undue bravado, speeding, route violations, traffic light disobedience, drunkenness, dangerous overtaking and disregard to basic rules,’’ he said.
He said that in order to reduce crash rate, the corps had embarked on several special patrols, education and enlightenment.
Gumi urged the public to always call the 122 toll free emergency line of the FRSC, adding that the corps has established outposts to respond to emergencies with minimal delay.
Flagging off the campaign, Commissioner for Transport in the state, Alhaji Ibarhim Panti, called on motorists to cooperate with the corps by observing traffic rules and regulations.
“You have to avoid taking alcohol before and while driving because of its effect in reducing your sense of judgment by pushing you to commit road traffic offences,’’ he said.
Panti promised government’s support in the campaign towards reducing accidents on the roads.
Earlier, the Sector Commander of FRSC in the state, Mr Joel Dagwa, has said that drink-driving was responsible for great percentage of preventable road traffic crashes around the world.
Dagwa said that the exercise was the 11th edition in the country and that it was being done in collaboration with Nigeria Breweries Plc.
Alhaji Garba Bala, Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTWs) in the state, promised to enforce the campaign among members and urged them to shun intoxicants while on duty.
“I want to assure the FRSC that we will continue to partner them in order to ensure that our members adhered to traffic rules,’’ he said. (NAN)