RTEAN, FRSC, Red Cross move to reduce road accident deaths by 50 per cent
Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Nigerian Red Cross have declared a state of emergency on traffic accidents across the country.
The organisations while expressing concern over the number of deaths caused by road crashes, said they would work towards meeting the target of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 resolution.
The UN Plan has the ambitious target of preventing at least 50 per cent of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.
They made the pledge at the launch, induction and training programme for pre and pro-crash initiative for the road transport sector organised by RTEAN for its members in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to a data released by the FRSC this month (May), over 40,000 people die annually as a result of road traffic crashes in the country.
Also, about 1.3 million people were killed and as many as 50 million people get injured each year globally.
Speaking at the event, President of RTEAN, Musa Maitakobi stressed the need to enhance and improve on the response time at any emergency situation on the road.
Maitakobi who was represented by his deputy, Muhammad Bushara, said members of the RTEAN will be massively trained in collaboration with the Nigerian Red Cross officials to efficiently handle emergency situations at the point of accident before moving to the hospital to save lives.
Noting that provision of Mobile Emergency First Aid Clinics will be provided on the road, Maitakobi explained that Road traffic accidents victims would also be assisted to receive first aid treatment from the point of accidents by RTEAN trained members.
He stated: “For the success of this programme, we also intend to embark on huge public enlightenment and publicity as this is the first time any Association or Union in the transport sector is initiating a critical programme that involves lives in collaboration with variety of professionals and experts in the field that will go nationwide in Nigeria.
“It is also our belief that with time, more persons will be trained (as we embark on training the trainers) and the issue of travellers dying before they could get to the hospital will be minimized and a thing of the past. And with the support from all relevant Government Agencies (MDA), and organizations, we shall succeed and the roads will be made death free for Nigerians.
“We therefore call on the attention of all the security agencies to give all the necessary support to the victims of Road accident, especially in regard to emergency treatment and in the hospitals and clinics”
Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, disclosed that the rate of road crashes is gradually reducing in the country, noting however, that the fatality being recorded was still a subject of concern.
While encouraging other stakeholders and transport union to emulate RTEAN by organising similar training for their members, Kazeem said the agency has declared total war on overloading.
“In a situation where a vehicle would carry load and passengers and there’s a crash, you can imagine how many deaths that will be involved. So, that is why FRSC is all out now declaration total war on overloading. What we’ll do is wherever we see overloading vehicle with passengers, we drop all the passengers there and find a way for them to reach their destination. So with this, we believe that very shortly, we will be there”, he stated.
President, Nigerian Association of road transport owners, Lawal Yusuf Othman, urged road transport workers to imbibe the habit of installing speed limiter in the vehicles.
Noting that speed produces road traffic injuries and death, he said installing speed limited will ensure a reduction in fatality on roads.
“We all need to key in and not be left behind. Charity they say, begins at home. For us to comply effectively, the FRSC and even goverment need to also comply on issue of speed limiter. We, therefore, cannot shy away from speed limiting devices”, he stated.
Deputy Director, ministry of transportation, Angela Keyede, who represented the permanent secretary, while lauding the RTEAN for the training, said most Nigerians, especially in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) overspeed because of the good road.
She stated: “Because the road are good in the FCT, people tend to overspeed. I am sure that this initiative when imbibe by all stakeholders, it will minimise the road crashes especially during the festive sectors. Also, after this training, are expecting to see better driving skills, better response to accident and minimal accidents on our roads.”
On his part, National legal adviser, Nigerian Red Cross, Muazu Muhammed, expressed dismay over the slow response to road crashes.
According to him, “We are pleased to be part of this initiative and it is part of our mandate. We will liaise with all the stakeholders to ensure that people are trained especially in the post-crash. We will ensure that the UN action of reducing accident by 50 per cent is met. A lot of accident has happened and the response is slow but I want us to understand that first aid is not something difficult”.