Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Nigerian Red Cross have declared a state of emergency on traffic accidents across the country.
The organisations expressed concern over the number of deaths caused by road crashes. They promised to work towards meeting the target of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 resolution.
The UN plan has the ambitious target of preventing at least 50 percent of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030. They made the pledge at the launch, induction and training programme for pre and pro-crash initiative for the road transport sector organised by RTEAN for its members in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to data released by the FRSC this month (May), over 40,000 people die annually as a result of road traffic crashes in the country. Also, about 1.3 million people were killed and as many as 50 million people get injured each year globally.
Speaking at the event, President of RTEAN, Musa Maitakobi stressed the need to enhance and improve on the response time at any emergency situation on the road. Maitakobi, who was represented by his deputy, Muhammad Bushara, said members of the RTEAN will be massively trained in collaboration with the Nigerian Red Cross officials to efficiently handle emergency situations at the point of accident before moving to the hospital to save lives.
Noting that provision of mobile emergency first aid clinics will be provided on the roads, Maitakobi explained that road traffic accidents victims would also be assisted to receive first aid treatment from the point of accidents by RTEAN trained members.
The corps’ public education officer, Bisi Kazeem, disclosed that the rate of road crashes is gradually reducing in the country, noting however, that the fatality being recorded was still a subject of concern.
While encouraging other stakeholders and transport unions to emulate RTEAN by organising similar training for their members, Kazeem said the agency has declared total war on overloading.
“In a situation where a vehicle would carry load and passengers and there’s a crash, you can imagine how many deaths that will be involved. So, that is why FRSC is all out now declaring total war on overloading. What we’ll do is wherever we see an overloading vehicle with passengers, we drop all the passengers there and find a way for them to reach their destination. So, with this we believe that very shortly, we will be there,” he stated.