Every year, it has become traditional for ABC Transport plc to invite stakeholders in the road transport sector to discuss safety and promote its consciousness among its staff, especially the driving crew, who by the nature of their job, spend most of their time on the road.
Two days ago, the only transport company quoted on the Nigerian stock exchange flagged off the 2014 safety campaign with this year’s event tagged “Safety first because life is involved.”
Throwing more light on the annual safety initiative, Jude Nneji, deputy managing director, ABC Transport plc, said that the ABC Safety Week, in its aim to advocate an accident-free campaign, is particularly very timely and resonants especially in the thick of the ember months.
The deputy managing director stated that “a season of high traffic volume in cargo and human is, no doubt, accompanied by high-risk incidence. There, our ultimate goal during the ABC Safety Week is to remind our drivers and attendants to remain alert at all times- whether it is during Christmas, New Year, or at anytime.
In his submission, “It is common knowledge that our highways are arguably the most dangerous in the world. According to recent analysis, Nigeria ranks second in road traffic fatalities among 193 countries in the world.”
The 2012 annual report released by the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) shows that road accidents in Nigeria have claimed a total of 322,427 lives between 1960 and 2012, while 1,016,299 injuries were recorded.
Last year alone, a total of 4,260 deaths were reported on Nigerian roads, representing an average of 12 persons dying daily. For the same year, 20,752 injuries were recorded, translating to an average of 57 injuries daily.
On the average, 69 persons were either injured or killed on the roads daily, while 48,114 persons were involved in 6,269 documented cases. This means on the average of one hour, approximately one crash occurred on the road and 5.5, that is 6 persons, were involved in a crash within an hour.
Within the period under review, Nigeria had five deaths per 10,000 vehicles and four deaths per 100,000 persons, according to the report from FRSC. This figure could be higher, since most people who are involved in road accidents sometimes die weeks after their deaths may not have been recorded officially.
The ABC deputy managing director was quick to point out that deaths and injuries due to crashes can be reduced by 50% if a commitment is made by motorists not to drink and drive; not to overspeed; to wear seat belts and helmets; not to use phones or eat while driving; obey traffic rules and tell people about Safe Road Nigeria.
He maintained that drivers have a great role to play in preventing road accidents, adding that their behaviour matters a lot on the road in terms of passengers’ survival and safety. Thus, they must strive to remember that “Safety First Because Life is Involved.”