In line with the United Nations Resolution of 2005 and African Union Executive Council decision of 2012 setting a day for the remembrance of victims of road traffic crashes globally, Nigeria under the auspices of the Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC), has kick started activities to mark this year’s event, with the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi expressing commitment to the success of safer roads campaign.
According to Bisi Kazeem, Head, Media Relations and Strategy, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi In a media briefing to unfold the activities lined up to mark the day, stated that the FRSC shares the pain which victims of road traffic crashes and their families go through, saying he would leave no stone unturned in finding solutions to the menace of road traffic crashes.
According to him, the day for the remembrance of victims of road traffic crashes was first observed in the United Kingdom by a charity group, Roadpeace in 1993, to promote the day nationally and internationally, but was later adopted by the United Nations in 2005 in acknowledgement of the suffering which crash victims go through.
The Corps Marshal added that the day is dedicated to highlighting the enormous loss of lives on the roads and the hardships the bereaved and injured victims of road traffic crashes suffer, saying it is expected that people would use the day to show commitment to issues of road safety.
“The day is expected to highlight the scale and impact of road deaths and injuries on the global roads as well as the consequences they have on the economy,” he stated.
Oyeyemi noted that since the formal adoption of the day by the global body, there has been increased public awareness on issues of road safety with governments the world over gradually responding to the challenges of road safety through the adoption of measures that promote safer roads campaigns.
“Consequently, over 50 countries worldwide have today identified with the call and are currently observing the day as we do in Nigeria,” he further stated.
He stressed that report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that not less than 3,200 people die daily on the World’s Roads with tens of thousands being disabled for life, noting that other empirical studies have equally shown that automobile crashes have become one of the leading causes of death among young adults who constitute the productive age bracket, with attendant consequences on the economy.
“That is why the Federal Road Safety Corps will continue to show commitment of road safety to pursuing policies and programmes that could address the challenge,” he stated.
Oyeyemi observed that the Day offers people opportunity to engage in public awareness programmes that promote major public health and development initiatives that assist victims of road crashes.
He further stated that the theme for this year’s event, which is “It’s Time to Remember – Say No to Road Crime,” was carefully chosen for people to deeply reflect on the activities marking the day and take appropriate measures that can address the menace.
While unfolding the activities lined up to mark the event, Oyeyemi disclosed that the press conference will be followed by motorcade/mass rally at the various motor parks across the country, while other programmes follow on subsequent days.
“On the second day of the programme, which is Friday, 13 November, 2015, there will be Jumma’t service at the National Mosque and all central Mosques across the country. On Saturday, 14th November, 2015, the President of Road Safety Officers Wives Association (ROSOWA) will lead members of the Association on visits to Crash Victims at the National Hospital Abuja, and Wuse General Hospital respectively to sympathise with some of the crash victims on hospital admission there with presentation of gift items to as a symbol of their love.
“On the same day, there would be an Executive Walk which would attract some prominent Nigerians and stakeholders in road safety matters to draw public attention to the plight of crash victims while Candle Light Procession would hold across the states of the federation in the evening.
“The event will be rounded off on Sunday, 14 November, 2015, with Thanksgiving Services to be held at the various Churches across the country,” Oyeyemi further stated.
While thanking members of the press for the massive support they have continued to render to the FRSC in its safer roads campaign, Oyeyemi appealed for sustained collaboration, noting that with the year coming to the end, traffic volume is expected to heighten due to congested festivities.
He therefore called on the people to show obedience to traffic rules and regulations. “Road traffic crashes as we have continued to maintain, have no spiritual causes, and can be prevented with sufficient safety measures,” he stated.
The Corps Marshal also called on all members of the public to pay special attention to issues of road safety and for all public spirited individuals to continue to demonstrate commitment to the welfare of victims of road traffic crashes and their families, friends and loved ones, adding, “It is our belief that when people’s attitudes to road safety change positively, the success of the global campaigns to make the roads safer for all users can be assured.”