Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said in Lagos on Monday that many crashes were caused as a result of disobedience to traffic rules and regulations by road users, not the ember months.
Oyeyemi made the remark during the official flag-off of the Ember months campaign of the FRSC, Lagos State Command.
Oyeyemi, who was represented by Mr Austine Aipoh, Zonal Commanding Officer, Osogbo, said that there was no supernatural thing about the ember months, saying that crashes were caused mainly by human disobedience to regulations.
“Today, we have come to demystify the belief and situate the mindsets and our actions for veritable safety on our highways.
“The truth is that nothing is supernatural about the ember months, road crashes are caused due to disobedience of rules and regulations by road users,’’ Oyeyemi said.
According to him, increase in socio-economic activities during the period engenders inordinate traffic surge that stretches the road transport system.
He said that most motorists throw caution to the winds under the complex traffic situation, and embark on speeding, overloading and wrongful overtaking.
Oyeyemi added that speed limit violations by drivers had become a critical risk factor which accounted annually for a significant loss of lives.
The FRSC boss, therefore, advised that motorists and stakeholders should rise to their responsibilities by playing a part towards achieving a crash-free season.
Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State Governor, represented by Mr Anofiu Elegushi, Commissioner for Transport, said that the ember months campaign were a strategy to reduce crashes.
Elegushi said that the aim was to elevate the consciousness of motorists during and after the festive season.
“The ember months campaign as a component of the FRSC strategic engagements is aimed at elevating the consciousness of Nigerians to the realities of road traffic crashes and its implications.
“Nigeria, as a developing country accounts for 91 per cent of road fatalities, which are colossal to human capital and material losses, with frightening implications on the health system and sustainable development,’’ he said.
The commissioner appealed to Lagos residents to consider their safety as utmost, especially during the end-of-year festivities.
According to him, the road is not a race track and it is not a place for competition, hence drivers must stay away from speeding, drunk driving, dangerous driving and use of mechanically deficient vehicles.
Mr Tajudeen Agbede, Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), represented by Mr Ifeoluwa Adenusi, said that the association has advised its members to drive safely during the season.
Agbede noted that members have been encouraged to go through medical check-ups before embarking on their journeys.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ember months campaign tagged “Crash the Crash: Speed Kills,’’ was sponsored by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO).