The recent joint safety awareness campaign by the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC and DHL Supply Chain at the Ojodu premsies of the Federal Road Safety Commission was part of their effort to promote safe road through responsible driving habits and safe road usage by all categories of road users in the country.
Speaking at the occasion, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Osita Chidoka, while commending DHL, the problem of road safety is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders, as being demonstrated by the involvement of DHL Supply Chain in their campaign.
He said: “Today’s event is a practical demonstration in our continuing advocacy, and it showcases the effectiveness of our collaboration with relevant stakeholders in pushing for safer road for all.
“Our spirit of collaboration which is anchored on the fact that road safety is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders is today being further demonstrated by the involvement of DHL Supply Chain in the campaign.”
According to the FRSC boss, DHL made the right choice by taking road safety as its area of social responsibility to its numerous customers.
Describing the decision of DHL to partner with the FRSC in road safety campaign as very strategic, Chidoka said “I want to assure you that the choice of road safety by the company is not misplaced because DHL logistic remains a global organisation with fleet of vehicles both small and articulated and has continued to strive to draw and maintain an articulated road map that could ensure effective service delivery in the country.
“He expressed confidence that the partnership would lead to effective resolution of some of the road traffic challenges which can be addressed through advocacy and attitudinal change, given the fact that road transportation accounts for greater percentage of daily movement of goods and people across the country.
Arguing that human factor remains the greatest impediment to safer road campaign, the corps marshal explained that “as new roads are being constructed and old ones rehabilitate, a new threat to road safety has come up through speed limit violation.”
According to him speed limit violation and resultant crashes and deaths are now sources of concern to all road users because of the pervasiveness of speed violation by drivers who are always thrilled by the smoothness of the road.
Chidoka disclosed that “out of the 6269 road traffic crashes involving 10,042 vehicles in Nigeria in 2012 that killed 4260 people and injured 20,757, speed violation accounted for the highest causative factor of 35 per cent followed by loss of control and dangerous driving at 17 per cent each. In the same vein, truck/trailers accounted for 22 per cent of the total vehicles involved in crashes in 2012 and 17 per cent, so far as at November 30 this year.”
To this end, he said that the FRSC has come up with a number of initiatives to tackle the menace, including aggressive public enlightenment and enforcement strategies which is evidenced by the introduction of speed limiting devices launched this year.
“In addition, he disclosed that they are stepping up advocacy in order to build public consciousness that could support self regulation in the use of the device by the categories of drivers, pointing out that many of their staff have undergone specialised safety training abroad.
Furthermore, he commended the support of the World Bank who recently deliver four tow trucks and 21 patrol vehicles, as well as other operational equipment under the safe corridor project which would boost their enforcement and rescue capabilities during patrol.
The FRSC boss promised that the corps will continue to sustain its intensive patrol, rescue service, robust public enlightenment campaign and strict enforcement of traffic rules and regulations throughout the yuletide, saying that these were in line with the goals of the UN Decade of Action for road safety, 2011-2020 aimed at the reducing road traffic crashes and facilities drastically by 2020.
The Corps Marshal restated the commitment of FRSC to attainment of 50 per cent reduction in road crashes by 2015 as set by the Accra declaration and Nigeria’s desire of becoming one of the 20 safest nations in the world by 2020.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director/CEO, ABC Transport Plc, Mr. Frank Nneji spoke on the dangers of over-speeding. According to him, excess and inappropriate speed account for high proportion of the mortality and morbidity that result from road crashes. “In some low income and middle income countries, speed is estimated to be the main contributory factor in about 50 per cent of all road crashes.
He explained that, a truck travelling 30 km/h will typically require over 15 metres in which to stop, while a car travelling at 40 km/h will stop in less than 22 metres.
He identified tools for managing speed to include: speed zoning and speed limits as well as changing behaviour – regulating and enforcing speed.
In his remark, the DHL supply chain official at the occasion called on all fleet transport operators to imbibe road safety culture, ensure safety of life and goods on the road through reduced speed.
He said that success story is that they have witnessed decrease accidents through speed reduction.
“An average of 35 per cent decrease in both minor and major collisions in 2013 against 2012 collision as well as reduced lost time injury caused by road traffic accidents.” This he said resulted from positive change in driver behaviour.