By Naomi Sharang
The Federal Road Safety Corps ( FRSC ) has decried the spate of attacks on its operatives while discharging their duties on the highways.
FRSC Unit Commander, Dutse-Alhaji, Mr Livinus Okonkwo made this assertion at a sensitisation workshop for drivers in Dutse-Alhaji Motor Park, Bwari Area Council, Abuja on Wednesday.
The workshop was organised by GreenLight Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
He said that it was unfathomable that officers of the corps were attacked while on lawful duty.
“We cannot fathom it. We are worried over the actions.
“We are doing humanitarian job, for us to assist motorists to be alive and they now turn against us by attacking our personnel, this is unacceptable,” he said.
Okonkwo, who said that nevertheless, the corps would continue to do public enlightenment in that area, attributed the actions to lack of understanding.
“If somebody is ensuring you have a better environment you don’t need to attack him,” he said.
He, therefore, called for more partnership with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to ensure safety of lives and property.
The commander urged members of NURTW to desist from overloading or face the penalty.
“Overloading is a form of distraction on the part of the driver, which is a course for concern.
“Some of those factors that constitute distraction include making calls and chatting while driving.
“When distracted, drivers are heading toward a land of no return,” he said.
“Overloading attracts a fine of N10, 000 and we will also send the person for emotional evaluation test to be sure that the person is emotionally stable,” he said.
Executive Director, GreenLight, Mr Simon Obi said that stronger leadership was needed to advance the course of road safety in the country.
“According to World Health Organisation, the number of road traffic deaths continues to rise steadily, reaching a record of 1.35 million annually.
“These indicate that the progress to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 3.6, which calls for a 50 per cent reduction in the number of road traffic deaths by 2020 remains a mirage.”
He called for renewed efforts to reduce road traffic crashes in the country.
The executive director said that the organisation was leading the campaign for safer road usage in the country by implementing different advocacy and enlightenment programmes.
“Our effort on road safety is to contribute to the attainment of the global road safety goals as stipulated in the SDGs 3.6 and 11.2,” Obi said.
On his part, Chairman NURTW, Dutse-Alhaji, Alhaji Muhammadu Bala appealed to the management of Bwari Area Council to construct motor parks for the locality to alleviate the plight of members of the union and commuters.