Saturday, February 24, 2024

32 FRSC officials killed on duty in five years – Bisi Kazeem

The Federal Road Safety Corps said 32 of its officers lost their lives while on duty between 2018 and 2022.

The Corps’ spokesperson, Bisi Kazeem, made the data available at the weekend.

According to the data, three were killed in 2018; 11 lost their lives in 2019; nine in 2020; five in 2021 and four in 2022.

Kazeem said the personnel were killed “as a result of knockdown by reckless drivers or attacks.”

On November, 25, 2022, a truck driver crushed two officers along the Ikot-Ekpene – Aba route. The crash occurred as a result of excessive speed indulged by the driver of a DAF articulated truck while trying to dodge a pothole along the axis.

It was also reported that on April 3, 2022, gunmen killed two officials in Ezinifite, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. The gunmen opened fire on the officials while they were conducting routine patrol operations along the Igbo-Uku-Uga route in the Ezinifite area of the state.

In 2021, two operatives of the FRSC were confirmed dead in Nasarawa State. The officers were traveling for a training programme at FRSC Academy, Udi.

On 17 June, 2020, three officers were struck to death by thunder in the old toll gate, Ilese, in Ijebu North East Local Government Area Ogun state. The deceased were said to be planning for the early morning parade at the premises of their office when the incident happened.

The Corps Marshal, FRSC, Dauda Biu, had decried the incessant killing of patrol operatives as a result of the recklessness of some drivers.

Speaking on what can be done to address the menace, the Chief Executive Officer, Professional Driving and Safety Academy, Jide Owatunmise, said FRSC should avoid jumping into the road to stop fast-moving vehicles.

Owatunmise noted that the corps should deploy technology to reduce officers’ death.

He stated, “FRSC officers should stop jumping into the road to stop fast-moving vehicles, they should not be entering the vehicles of offenders to forcefully remove the keys or entering arrested vehicles to be driven to their compound particularly if it is only one officer. Arrested vehicles are better towed.

“FRSC operation officers should stop chasing vehicles for arrest. Any motorist that kills FRSC officers must be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others. FRSC officers working on the road should be using secret body cameras and the cameras should be linked to a control room where their activities and those of road users around them can be monitored for documentation and intervention where necessary.

Also, another road safety expert, Ayomide Akinpelu, said, “FRSC proposed firearms for their officers but not many Nigerians agreed to that. This will enable them to defend themselves.”

He called for the use of technology, saying the idea of FRSC officials chasing erring motorists had caused many accidents.

Akinpelu added, “The use of license plate recognition technology, speed limiting devices and traffic operation centre will enable the FRSC to discharge her duties effectively. Their officers do not need to be chasing offenders up and down, among other benefits.”

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