By Festus Fifen
Further to strategies to achieve the Accra Declaration of 2015 which seeks 50% reduction in road crashes and fatalities, the Federal Road Safety Corps has commenced a nationwide awareness campaign on the compulsory use of seat belts by all occupants of a moving vehicle.
Speaking during a routine media interview, the Corps Public Education Officer, Jonas Agwu said that the “FRSC has noted with concern the level of non-compliance among vehicle occupants on the seat belt directive”, adding that “the Nigerian motoring public are more focused on front seat occupants while the rear seats occupants show high level of indifference to this directive, which poses serious challenges to the Corps’ concerted efforts to address the menace of road crashes in the country”.
According to him, as the lead agency in road safety management and traffic administration in Nigeria, the FRSC has renewed it determination to en shrine this very important road culture among road users in the country, which he also said is in further fulfilment of the FRSC 2014 strategic goals which seeks for 15% reduction in road crashes and 25% decrease in fatalities and pillar 4 of the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety which focuses on Safer Road Users,
“this pillar is on developing comprehensive programmes to improve road user behaviour through sustained enforcement of road safety laws and standards combined with public awareness and education to increase seat belt and helmet wearing and to reduce drinking and driving, speeding, etc”In the same, Jonas made reference to section 126(1) which mandatorilly requires all vehicle occupants to use the seat belt while in a moving vehicle .
“every vehicle shall have fitted in front and rear seats, seat belts and child safety seats which shall be securely worn by the driver and the other occupants of the vehicle while the vehicle is on motion”.
He also harped on the need for parents to always ensure that their children are strapped to child restraints and positioned in rear seats of moving vehicles while children below 12 years old, should not occupy the front seat of a moving vehicle.
Consequent upon this, Jonas added that “FRSC management has mandated its Commanding Officers across the country to commence robust public enlightenment campaign on the compulsory use of seat belts by all occupants of a moving vehicle, as a build up to a nationwide clamp down on erring road users, commencing on 1st January, 2015.
While acknowledging the level of compliance by front seat occupants which has had a great impact on the FRSC drive to reduce crash trend since its introduction in 2003, the Corps however, wishes to build on this as part of measures to deliver on its goals.