Seventy-two per cent drivers tested for alcohol on the highways in Lagos State are under the influence of alcohol, a survey by the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) has revealed.
Hyginus Omeje, the Lagos Sector Commander of FRSC, who made the revelation on Thursday, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday that the survey was carried out by the command.
Omeije spoke with NAN at the flag off of the Guinness/FRSC Ember Month campaign against road crashes tagged “Responsible Drinking’’.
The programme is aimed sensitising private and commercial drivers against dangers inherent in drink-driving.
Highlights of the programme started about 13 years ago during ember month includes road shows, public talk and awareness at various motor parks and garages among others.
Omeije said the test which was carried out at random shows that drink-driving is more prevalent among the commercial drivers.
“In a survey conducted by the men of Lagos Command on alcohol testing using our Breathliser, it shows that 72 per cent of those tested did not pass the required level of alcohol.
“The survey was carried out randomly and no particular class of vehicle was a target but the result shows that between the 42 and 72 per cent of commercial drivers tested positive.
“To put the record straight, private cars owners, articulated vehicle drivers and government fleet drivers were also tested during the operation, but what comes to mind is the result from the test, the purpose of the survey.
“The survey was made possible through the digital beathliser machine used to test the alcohol level in the blood donated by Guinness Nig. Plc, there is no bias in the exercise,’’ he said.
Omeje said the insinuation that a particular set of road users were targeted by its men were unfounded, claiming that the result of the survey had vindicated the corps.
“We are not out to witch-hunt anyone, the test were done randomly. The result also has it that only negligible number of private cars owners are guilty of drink-driving.
“The result also shows the mindset of the commercial drivers when it comes to this issue. Anyone caught and found guilty will be made to pay a fine or face the mobile court.
“We have zero-tolerance to drink-driving and we have various punitive measures to drivers who are found guilty.
“Sometimes, we take the campaign to the motor parks and the driver that failed the test was made to lose his turn as the passengers were trans-loaded to another vehicle,’’ he said.
Speaking to NAN, the Managing Director, Guinness big. Plc., Mr Peter Ndegwa, noted that the company would continue to prioritise educating commercial drivers as against punitive measures.
“We will continue to educate those drivers on the dangers of drink-driving. Ours is to give more support to educating more people on responsible drinking.
“We will continue to give our support because of our policy on safety and also making our roads safe.
“We are producing responsible drinks and we want our consumers to be responsible too, we are encouraging responsible drinking,’’ he said.
Federal Road Safety Corps is the Government Agency with statutory responsibilities for road safety administration in Nigeria.
Founded in 1988, the Federal Road Safety Corps operates in all Nigerian states as well as the Federal Capital Territory. (NAN)