The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, says it plans to hands off road traffic management within cities and concentrate on the highways. The Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi gave the indication at the 2017 Commanding Officers’ Strategy Session held at FRSC Academy in Udi, Enugu State with Zonal and Sector Commanders of the corps in attendance.
The event was meant for critical review of the activities in the first quarter of the year. Dr. Oyeyemi who said that the country has about 12.5 million vehicles on a road network of 204,000 kilometers, expressed regret that most of the accidents happened on the express and dual carriage ways, hence the need to focus on where more lives were at risk. To this end, the Corps Marshal told the Strategy Session that the Corps would liaise with State Governments to establish Road Traffic Management Agencies.
“Talking about highways, that is where my mandate is, to save more lives. And don’t forget there is a gradual shift of the corps now, moving from the urban areas to the highways.”
“We have remained committed to partnership with the State Government in the area of establishment of Traffic Management Agencies and training of their personnel for unified traffic management standards as the corps concentrates on highways in states that have established their traffic management agency,” he said.
Dr. Oyeyemi added “like Enugu now, the training of the state traffic management agency has commenced and I think it is a positive development. We are going to support them in training their personnel so that we hands of the urban traffic management to the state. That means with Enugu now that will be 17 states that we have set up.”
Reacting to complaints by commercial vehicle operations that the installation of the speed limiting device was a security risk as it would expose them to highway robbers, the Corps Marshal insisted that there was no going back on the policy. According to him “we are talking about lives. The Nigeria police have improved on security on the highway as well as the military. The country’s maximum speed limit is 100km on the expressway, not on a dual carriageway and the buses are not supposed to go more than 90km and the roads are getting better.
“I had unfortunate crash along Ibadan-Lagos express last Saturday and 26 people died, a head-on collision was as a result of speed and diversion. And 65% of crashes involve commercial vehicles and so I cannot fold my arms and allow this to happen. We need to make a choice either you pick life or death. The choice is yours but I will say we pick life because my responsibility is to minimize or prevent crashes. And whatever we are doing is within the limit of Act that set up the corps,” he insisted.
Dr. Oyeyemi went further to state that the Strategy Session would address squarely issues of indiscipline and misconduct among officers and men of the corps. He said that he would not compromise on discipline, warning that any violation would be met with stiffer penalty, including dismissal.
“Management is alarmed at the rate at which some personnel of the corps have gone to violate the laid down disciplinary codes by indulging in practices that undermine the positive image of the corps. Such acts of indiscipline include patrol misconduct, incivility to traffic offenders and especially with the recent case of a female staff wearing hair-style that extends beyond the permitted length.”
In an interview with the participants in the Strategy Session, the Zonal Commander RS-9 Enugu, Mr. Samuel Obayemi and the Sector Commanders, Nasarawa State, Mrs. Faustina Alegbe explained that the three-days brainstorming session would improve on the FRSC strategic goals.
These include enhancing public education and enlightenment; improve enforcement and post crash care; advance road safety administration; and strengthen professionalism and transparency in the Corps.
They promised that the lessons learnt from the meeting would trickle down the zones, commands and units of the corps as the critical review of their activity in the first quarter of 2017 would help reposition the corps for the remaining part in the year.