Governor Samuel Ortom on Thursday, expressed shock that motorists in Benue still convey passengers in vehicle boots, despite the campaign against the practice, Concise News reports.
Ortom, who stated this in Makurdi during the inauguration of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) 2019 Ember Months Campaign, called on the corps to increase vigilance on roads to mitigate all road abuses.
Represented by Alexander Shaapera, Commissioner for Works and Transport, Ortom said that his administration had made modest investment in road construction.
The theme of this year’s Ember Months is “Road safety is a state of mind, road traffic crash is an absence of mind, stay alert, stay alive.”
“It is one thing to construct and maintain roads and another for the drivers to use them sensibly.
“It is worrisome that overloading persists even to this day despite the campaign against the practice.
“Some of these drivers even convey excess passengers in the boot of their vehicles.
“This is a sad reminder that greater attention needs to be given to road safety messages and their correctional endeavours,’’ he said.
“Sadly, it appears like the more the corps takes step at taming the tide of crashes through enlightenment and enforcement, the less the people appear to abide.
“The increase in human and vehicular population is growing at a ratio greater than the available resources.
“This pressure on the lean resources of the state for road construction, aside from the cost of maintenance, is overwhelming.’’
Ortom, therefore, appealed to all road users to respect road signs and other rules, adding the records of road crashes and the resultant death toll, injuries and other losses were terrifying.
He also called on all road users to pay adequate attention, especially while driving to mitigate crashes that occurred as a result of distractions.
“Instances of distracted driving are almost everywhere for an observer to see.
“From the use of phone while driving, undue discussions between the driver and passengers, to side attractions such as slotting disk in the car player and watching clips,’’ Otorm said.
The Commanding Officer, FRSC RS4 Zone, Assistant Corp Marshal Ayobami Omiyale warmed road users against speeding.
Omiyale also tasked motoriststo ensure regular maintenance of their vehicles to mitigate certain road crashes.
Earlier, the Benue Sector Commander of FRSC, Aliyu Baba, said the command recorded 191 road traffic crashes, consisting of 32 fatal cases, 146 serious cases and 13 minor ones between January and October.
Baba said that the corps data showed that most of the traffic crashes occurred during the ember months due to many factors such as festivities like Christmas, weddings and cultural activities among others.
“The ember month’s campaign is primarily targeted at reducing road traffic crashes by 15 per cent and fatality by 30 per cent.
“Road traffic do not just happen, it is caused and the causes are avoidable, if the motoring publics do the needful,’’ Baba said.
He commended Ortom for refurbishing five operational vehicles of the command for effective operation.