Analysts skeptical of FRSC accident figure
Data on road traffic accidents, especially on the number of deaths published by the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC), is far from the truth as revelation by road safety experts showed that more than 36,000 people are killed yearly by road crashes across the country.
While FRSC said only 13 persons died daily on Nigerian roads, analysts and industry followers on road safety issues, said no fewer than 100 persons lose their lives on daily basis to road traffic crashes.
The United Nations had rated Nigeria high, and recommended that the country’s safety agency be modelled after world best practices, but analysts argued that the data the agency is offering to the international community does not reflect the true state of situation in the country.
A safety advocate, and a leader of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Safety Beyond Borders, Adenusi Patrick, said over 36,000 deaths were recorded in Nigeria every year owning to road accident.
Figures from FRSC said 5,400, and 5,053 people died on Nigeria roads in 2015 and 2016 respectively, while 423 persons died, and 2,339 others were wounded in 768 road traffic accidents across the country in July 2017.
Patrick, at a one-day forum organised by the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA), said not less than 100 persons died daily across Nigerian roads as a result of accidents.
Indeed, he insisted that fatigue, not over speeding is the major cause of most road traffic crashes on the roads, faulting FRSC’s claim that over speeding was responsible.
“Over 100 die as a result of road accident in Nigeria daily. You would recall that 17 years ago, we were told that 65 people were killed daily. The question is what has changed,” the expert, who championed the use of reflective tape on vehicles in Nigeria said.
The Nigeria Police, and the FRSC have not been able to work together on generating accurate and uniform, but reasonably acceptable data on the number of road users that lost their lives, Patrick added.
A Founding member of the agency, who was the Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Drivers’ Institute, Ayodeji Oyedokun, was also pessimistic about the figure provided by FRSC.Although he did not categorically agree that about 36,000 people are killed yearly, Oyedokun noted that there were many unreported cases of such incidents.
“I cannot categorically agree on the number, but I am sure it will be more than 5,000 because there are so many unreported cases, to get a near accurate figure, police records, hospital records have to be taken into consideration,” he said.
A Nigerian Swede-based, Intelligent Transport Systems Researcher, who is working on collecting road accident figures in Nigeria, Adeyemi Adedokun, had told The Guardian that the FRSC’s figures were questionable, saying until the country is certain about the data, efforts to clampdown on road accidents would remain elusive.
However, Spokesperson for FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, told The Guardian that the agency’s data is accurate. “We do not just give data. Our data is always accurate, and well-scrutinised before release,” she said in a telephone chat.
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