By Babajide Okeowo
In a bid to proactively save lives and to ensure safe travels at all times, especially during the Yuletide, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has mobilized over 30,000 personnel to participate in the end of the year Special Patrol.
The operatives participating in the exercise were deployed from all Field Commands and the National Headquarters for the end of the year Special Patrol tagged ‘Operation Zero Tolerance to Road Traffic Crashes’.
The Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, made this announcement in a statement. He also added that the Corps equally sets up 15 traffic control camps, 27 Help areas, and 46 Ambulance points, along critical routes of Nigeria to complement Operational and Public Education efforts.
The critical routes to be covered according to Kazeem include, Akwanga-Lafiya-Makurdi, Jos-Bauchi-Gombe, Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Kebbi corridor, Katsina-Kano-Wudil-Dutse-Azare-Potiskum corridor, Kaduna-Saminaka-Jos’s corridor, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano corridor, Okene-Ogori-Isua-Owo corridor, Makurdi-Otukpo-Obollo Afor-9th Mile corridor, Asaba-Abraka-Ughelli-Warri corridor, Ibadan-Ogere-Sagamu corridor, Sagamu-Mowe-Lagos corridor, amongst others.
Kazeem said operational equipment are also being deployed and they include: patrol vehicles, advance life support ambulances, heavy duty tow trucks, medium and light duty tow trucks, patrol motor bikes, extricating machines, reflective jackets, traffic cones, patrolites and radar guns. Others are Breathalyzers, Cameras, E-tablets, Alcoholizers, Walkie Talkies, CUGs and Tyre pressure gauges.
According to him, “In addition to the deployment of the above operational tools, and in the quest for improved service delivery and effective Patrol Operations, the Corps Marshal further invested in advanced Information and Communication Technology to beef up its operations.
“The new technology which includes Body Cameras and Vehicle Cameras which have been fully deployed shall be used for Patrol Operations, Surveillance and Traffic monitoring, Rescue operations, and Real time information gathering for decision making.”
While noting that the operation has already begun, the spokesperson revealed that it will be foreclosed on 15 January 2022. He highlighted the objectives of the operation as follows: Reduction of Road Traffic Crashes, fatalities and injuries; Ensure travelers comply with Covid19 Health Protection Regulations 2021; Prompt response to road crash victims; Removal of obstructions; Ensure free flow of traffic; engage in aggressive Public Education; and provision of travel advisories.
In his words; “the target enforcement which the Corps Marshal Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi has directed all operatives to address are not limited to excessive speeding, dangerous driving and overtaking, Tyre violation, lane indiscipline, road obstructions, use of phone while driving, overloading, seatbelts violation, child safety, passenger manifest violation, mechanically deficient vehicles, and vehicles conveying unlatched containers”.
Additionally, Kazeem stated that the Corps Marshal who believes that a crash free celebration is possible has equally tasked all senior Officers in FRSC Academy, FRSC Training Schools, and those at the National Headquarters who were also deployed to different parts of the country to pick up the slacks to ensure the mandate of the Corps for safe travels is achieved.
In this regard, Oyeyemi directed that Mobile Courts sit throughout the Operation across the Nation and that all Commands must remain on alert after 15 January 2022 to have a near crash free 2022, where possible.
In line with the foregoing, the special patrol is to run in shifts as follows: 0600hrs – 1400hrs, 1400HRS – 2000hrs, 2000hrs – 2200hrs, and Night Rescue teams to be on standby at all operational Commands.
The Corps will go into the exercise in collaboration with Special Marshals, Military Units en-route or resident, The Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Security, State owned/NGO’s Ambulance service providers, National Network on Emergency Rescue Services (NNERS) and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
While urging the officers and men to show special consideration and attention to road users in line with the Corps’ service orientation, the Corps Marshal further called on Nigerians to cooperate with law enforcement agents and ensure maximum compliance with all directives on restrictions and physical distancing.
He also stated that the National Traffic Radio 107.1 FM will continue to operate 24/7 to give real time traffic updates. As such, he called on all travelers to take advantage of the Station, Situation Office numbers: 07054005754, 07054005712 08056294021/08056295022, and the FRSC Toll Free numbers 122 to report any obstruction, crash or gridlock witnessed on the road for prompt intervention of the nearest Command.