Following the declaration of Thursday, May 13, 2021 as the day of Eid el Fitr in Nigeria, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has commenced massive Mobilisation of its personnel and operational equipments for the Sallah special patrol aimed at ensuring safer road environment, before, during the festive period and beyond.
This was disclosed by FRSC Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem who said not fewer than 35,000 of the FRSC Regular, Special Marshals, and Road Safety Club Members, about 750 Patrol Vehicles, 120 Ambulances, 25 Tow Truck and over 200 Bikes would be on the road during the special operation that would commence from 11 to 17 May, 2021.
The Corps Public education Officer stated that the Corps is embarking on the special patrol operation to ensure that motorists and other road users have a hitch free celebration, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and security challenges in the country.
According to him, “the mission of the special operation is to ensure free flow of traffic, provide prompt rescue services and timely clearance of obstructions on all major roads and critical corridors across the country before, during and after the festive period as well as minimizing the occurrence of road traffic crashes on the nation’s highways through effective patrol operations and sustained public enlightenment campaigns”.
He added that, “FRSC has a tradition of always organising special patrols during festive periods as a way of averting the chaos that characterise the road during the celebrations, as such, this year’s Eid el Fitr would not be an exemption. Motorists must endeavour to avoid traffic violations and remain conscious of their safety to avoid not only arrest and prosecution by members of the Corps, but falling prey to avoidable road crashes”.
To ensure the effectiveness of the operations, Kazeem revealed that FRSC Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi directed commanding officers operating across various formations nationwide to ensure that the 52 corridors are properly manned throughout the period of the operations.
He however appealed to motorists to obey all traffic rules and regulations and cooperate fully with the FRSC and other law enforcement agencies that would be deployed for traffic management duties, saying Mobile Courts would be in session across the country for prompt dispensation of justice to recalcitrant traffic violators.
The Corps Marshal, also directed that the operatives pay first-rate focus on Effective Traffic Control, Wrongful Overtaking, Use of Phone while Driving, Drivers Licence Violation, Lane Discipline, Removal of Rickety vehicles on the road, Driving with Expired/ worn out tyre and without spare tyre etc.
To achieve this fit, the Corps has deployed operational equipments in the categories of Radar Guns, Breathalysers to put a check on drunk driving, operational logistics materials are also to be fully deployed for this exercise. More so, the Corps Marshal has equally directed that all Zebras must be active 24/7 and be responsive to calls within the minimum FRSC response time to crashes reported.
Kazeem noted that, among the 52 corridors to be covered are: Akwanga-Lafiya-Makurdi, Jos-Bauchi-Gombe, Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Kebbi corridor, Katsina-Kano-Wudil-Dutse-Azare-Potiskum corridor, Kaduna-Saminaka-Jos 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.
Special focus will be on checking the following offences; Dangerous driving/overtaking, overloading violation, Use of phone while driving, Excessive speed, Lane indiscipline/Route violation, Passengers’ manifest violation, illegal use of SPY number plate, Latching violation among others.
In line with the foregoing, the 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 with the friendly collaboration with 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).
The Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi who felicitated with the Muslim faithfuls reechoed his earlier call on them to manifest love, care and continuous obedience to established laws so as to portray the lessons learnt during the ramadan in positive light. Expectedly, Oyeyemi assured all Nigerians of full deployment of personnel on the highways and crash emergency rescue services for prompt rescue and evacuation of crash victims in case of any mishap.
While urging them to show special consideration and attention to other road users so as to create a safer atmosphere for all during the celebration; 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 update. As such, he called on all travellers to take advantage of the Station 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.