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FRSC blames construction companies for road accidents

NAN

The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, has expressed worry over the high rate of accidents at road construction sites in the country.

Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Monday, Oyeyemi said that most of the accidents were caused by lack of traffic signs at diversion points in construction areas.

“We have been having problems with the construction companies, and we have taken this up with the Minister (Power, Works and Housing).

“The major problem is at diversions; we lost 22 people on the Lagos-Ibadan road just two days and 25 people recently.

“The crash that happened between Bauchi and Kano on Feb. 13, in which school children died, was also at a diversion point in a construction area.

“I will step up my meeting with the minister to ensure that these construction companies comply with the statutory mandate of ensuring appropriate signage in construction areas,’’ he said.

However, Oyeyemi said that the Corps had recorded about 70 per cent compliance by commercial vehicle owners with installation of speed limiting device, whose enforcement started on Feb. 1, 2017.

According to him, most of the local assembly plants had complied with the policy by installing the device in vehicles being produced at the factory.

He commended the National Automotive Design and Development Council and the Dangote Group for complying with the policy.

He said, “the only thing remaining now is to get the full buy-in of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, and we are almost at the last stage.

“The essence of this is to cut down the rate of crashes. Notwithstanding, we have made provision in our budget this year to buy more radar guns and focus on private vehicles.’’

Oyeyemi stated that although accidents involving commercial vehicles had dropped, their fatality rates had remained “a bit high’’ due to the large number of people involved.

“ We are having more problems now with the private vehicles than commercial ones. The assault level is more with the private vehicles.

“That is why we have so many court cases now; we have taken them to court, and will continue to do that.

“We currently have about 201 mobile courts, but I am writing to the Chief Judges of the states; we want to increase it to about 300 by the end of the year so that mobile courts can be sitting every day.

“We are not a revenue-generating agency; our aim is to deter. So, if we prosecute you now, and you are jailed for one week, it is enough for me.

“The fine is not the issue but the attitudinal change for it to be useful to the country,’’ he added.

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