The Federal Road Safety Commission on Wednesday said Nigeria losses 6,000 of its citizens yearly to road crashes attributable to over-speeding, overloading and dangerous driving.
The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, gave the figure at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Annual Retreat for officers and men of the corps from Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau states.
He condemned the decision of commercial vehicle operator to overload their vehicles, endangering the passengers’ lives.
“Enough is enough on this, there is a total war on overloading as from next week. That is one of the key issues of this retreat.
“I have briefed his excellency and the governors in the north-central, north-west and north-east and we have to do this. We are moving towards the end of the year and the government has given us the support and we are going to maximise this to make sure that we reduce the crashes.
“We have commenced the enforcement on Speed Limiting Device. As at last night, over 100,000 drivers have been given citation. There is no going back on this and we need to cut down the speed. We are losing almost 6,000 lives every year,” Mr Oyeyemi explained.
He told reporters that the device was only available to commercial vehicles, even though it would be extended to private vehicles.
According to him, 65% of crashes involve commercial vehicles, a situation that had prompted the decision to make the device only available to commercial vehicle owners.
“Let us save lives first because the total vehicular density we have is just about 12 million to a population of 173 million and a road network of about 243,000 kilometres,” he highlighted.
While Mr Oyeyemi restated the commission’s commitment to enforcing the speed Limiting Device Technology on all commercial vehicles, the Benue State Governor Mr Samuel Ortom, who is represented by his deputy, commended the initiative.
The FRSC had said that the initiative was aimed at reducing road crashes and preserving the lives of road users, but Governor Ortom also has another perspective to why accidents happen – bad roads.
He decried the bad habit of communities digging up federal highways to protest road accidents in their area.