By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa â€” About 6,661 lives were last year lost to road accidents, while 27,980 persons sustained various degrees of injuries across the country.
Though predominantly riverine, Bayelsa State alone accounted for 150 of the lives lost to road carnage, with 985 persons seriously injured.
The state Sector Comman-der, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Haliru B. Haliru, who disclosed this yesterday during the Ember months campaign rally held in Yenagoa, lamented the destructive effect of road traffic crash on the socio-economic sector of the society.
He urged the motoring public to exercise maximum caution while driving to avert road accidents.
Haliru, whose command has been going round the ministries in the last four months to sensitise the state workforce on the need to drive carefully, said â€œthe colossal loss of lives and properties from road crashes is no longer acceptable to the Corps, hence the theme, Operation Zero, is zero tolerance approach to road traffic crashes on our roads.â€
According to him, Nigeri-ans have almost accepted that crashes are a necessary part of their existence and a phenomenon that they have to contend with.
â€œThis illusion is unaccepta-ble as road crashes do not just happen but are caused mostly by drivers, just as 75 percent of road crashes are human-related and could be avoided,â€ he said.
He assured the motoring public of his commandâ€™s determination to ensure that all road crash counter- measures were put in place to achieve a crash-free Christmas and New Year festivities.
Haliru enjoined motorists not to overload their vehicles, over-speed, drink while driving, overtake dangerou-sly and ensure regular maintenance of their vehicles. He said these were necessary steps, since the ember months were characterised by high volume of traffic and its attendant consequences.