Ember Months: Group Intensifies Advocacy to Reduce Road Accident

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By Adedayo Akinwale

The Coalition of Road Safety Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria (CORSAN) has intensified advocacy as part of efforts towards reducing road accidents in Nigeria in the ember months.

The Vice President of the coalition and Chairman, Committee of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, 2021, Dr. John Suberu, while addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, said every November 21 is set aside to remember those who lost their lives in road crashes.

He stressed that it was also used to draw attention to the wanton scale of emotional, psychological and economic devastation caused by road accidents.

Suberu added that it also takes into cognizance the sufferings of surviving road crash victims, the work and sacrifice of safety and rescue workers as well as to reflect on how millions of lives can be saved daily on Nigerian roads.

Quoting data from the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), he said: “Just by the first half of this year, about 5,320 road crashes and 2,471 deaths nationwide were recorded, and this can be avoidable if we have more road officials to administer stringent law on the road irrespective of the location.”

Suberu noted that road traffic injuries caused considerable economic losses to individuals, families, and to the country as a whole.

He said this year’s commemoration was therefore to intensify advocacy towards reducing the speed limit, which has the potential to prevent deaths and serious injuries occasioned by over speeding and loss of control.

According to Suberu, “These losses arise from the cost of treatment as well as loss of productivity for those killed or disabled by their injuries, and for family members who need to take time off work or school to care for the injured. Road traffic crashes cost most countries some considerable percentage of their gross domestic product.”

The coalition, which comprises 40 NGOs, would organise a unified event as directed by the United Nations with the theme: ‘Reduction of Traffic Woes’.

He said activities lined up for the year’s event are November 18 (Accident Remembrance Forum); November 19 (Mosque Prayers/Road Safety Night and Award); and November 21 which is slated for prayer for victims of road crashes and thanksgiving.