By John Shiklam in Kaduna
A total of 759 people, including 72 officers and men of the Kaduna Zonal Command of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) were killed in 717 accidents involving 6,190 vehicles in the zone.
The zone comprises Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States.
The Zonal Commanding Officer, Mr. Abayomi Omiyale, disclosed this in Kaduna during a retreat organised for sector commanders in the zone.
He said the 687 deaths recorded in 2018 represents a 16 per cent increase on the 583 deaths recorded in 2017.
He also disclosed that 72 officers and men of the FRSC in the zone were killed by reckless drivers and disobedient motorists, while others were attacked for personal reasons.
He said the accident figures represent 5.8 per cent reduction in the 725 accidents recorded in 2017.
Omiyale said: “Over the last one year, our patrol officers have been knocked down, some were attacked or even shot, leading to the death of 72 patrol officers in the zone. Our vehicles and properties were also vandalised.”
The FRSC zonal commanding officer also said that there was reduction in the number of those injured from 3,144 persons in 2017 to 3,047 persons in 2018, representing a 3.0 per cent reduction.
He attributed the increasing number of deaths from road crashes in the zone to vehicle overloading, excessive speeding and reckless driving.
Omiyale said the retreat was aimed at availing participants and the zone with the opportunity to assess its performance in the outgoing year and highlight the perceptible challenges, with a view to addressing them and fashioning out the way forward for 2019.
“The retreat will also remind our patrol officers that we interface with the public during operations. We have to be civil and professional in carrying out our duty of ensuring sanity on our roads.
“We equally need to be cautious while on patrol. We should, however, look out for offenders who have a high tendency to become violent,” said.