The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Delta State Command, has issued a stern advisory to motorists, imploring them to adhere rigorously to traffic rules and regulations as a proactive measure to reduce road accidents during the upcoming ember months. The advice was given by Mr. Bassey Eshiet, the Sector Commander of the FRSC Delta Command, during the official launch of the Ember Months Campaign 2023, themed “Speed Thrills, Speed Kills: Drive Responsibly and Avoid Overloading.”
Speaking at the launch event, Commander Eshiet highlighted the troubling trend of increased traffic congestion and a surge in road traffic infractions as the year draws to a close. These infractions, he noted, encompassed route violations, excessive speeding, dangerous driving, wrongful overtaking, overloading, drunk driving, driver fatigue, and using mobile phones while driving.
These risk factors, according to Eshiet, are responsible for a significant number of road traffic crashes with fatal outcomes. Additionally, the mounting vehicular volume during the ember months results in traffic gridlock, fatigue, and sometimes even fatal accidents.
In response to these challenges, Commander Eshiet emphasized the FRSC’s commitment to addressing these trends and ensuring the unhindered flow of traffic. This commitment led to the launch of the Ember Months Road Safety Campaign for 2023, ahead of the commencement of the year-end Special Patrol Operation scheduled from December 2023 to January 2024.
The primary objective of this campaign is to drastically reduce the incidence of road crashes and, if possible, completely eliminate fatalities arising from accidents during this period.
Commander Eshiet underscored the correlation between vehicle speed and collision severity, explaining that higher speeds reduce the time available for a driver to react and avoid a collision, thus increasing the impact’s severity. He emphasized that controlling vehicle speed is crucial for preventing accidents and reducing injury severity.
He provided a striking example: A car traveling at 50 km/h requires approximately 13 meters to come to a stop, while a car traveling at 40 km/h can stop in less than 8.5 meters. Furthermore, a mere 1 km/h increase in average speed raises the risk of injury-causing crashes by 37%, with an additional 4% to 5% increase in the likelihood of fatal accidents.
Regarding the impact of speed on vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, Commander Eshiet pointed out that pedestrians have a 90% chance of survival when struck by a car traveling at 30 km/h or below. However, this survival rate drops to less than 50% when the car’s speed reaches 45 km/h and becomes almost non-existent at 80 km/h.
At the event, the Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, represented by Vincent Ehiwario, Director of Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), identified a lack of maintenance culture as a significant contributor to road crashes. He urged individuals to adopt a simple yet effective habit of regularly inspecting and servicing their vehicles, paying special attention to components like brakes, tires, and steering systems. He stressed that such preventative measures could save lives and protect property.
Mr. Silas Omobude, Assistant Director of Narcotics at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), warned motorists against the illicit use of drugs while driving, particularly during the ember months. He emphasized that many road accidents during this period are attributable to drivers’ reckless behavior. The use of drugs, coupled with drunk driving, is strictly prohibited during, before, and after the ember months. Omobude urged motorists to ensure the proper functioning of essential vehicle systems such as steering, headlights, brakes, wipers, and tires to guarantee their safety on the road.
In conclusion, the Ember Months Campaign 2023 by the FRSC in Delta State aims to create awareness and promote responsible driving behavior among motorists. As the ember months approach, these efforts seek to reduce accidents, save lives, and make the roads safer for all travelers. The collaboration of law enforcement agencies, government representatives, and the public is crucial in achieving this goal.