Arising from the need to ensure enhanced visibility and guarantee safe travels for all road users before, during and after the 2021 Eid-El Kabir celebrations in Nigeria, which has been declared to hold on 20th July, 2021, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has announced massive mobilisation of its personnel and operational equipments for the 2021 Sallah special patrol.
The Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem who made this public said that the Corps is embarking on the special patrol operation to ensure that motorists and other road users have a hitch free celebration, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and security challenges in the country and the rainy season. According to him, not fewer than 35,000 of the FRSC Regular, Special Marshals, and Road Safety Club Members, about 750 Patrol Vehicles, 120 Ambulances, 25 Tow Truck and over 200 Bikes would be on the road during the special operation that would commence on 16 to 25 Jul 2021 nation-wide.
The Corps Public education Officer also stated that “FRSC has over the years developed this tradition of always organising special patrol operations during festive periods as a way of averting the chaos that characterise the road during such celebrations, as such, this year’s Eid el Kabir would not be an exemption. Motorists must endeavour to avoid traffic violations and remain conscious of their safety to avoid not only arrest and prosecution by members of the Corps, but falling prey to avoidable road crashes”.
He added that, “the mission of the special operation is to ensure free flow of traffic, provide prompt rescue services and timely clearance of obstructions on all major roads and critical corridors across the country before, during and after the festive period as well as reduce Road Traffic Crashes, Road Traffic Fatalities and Road Traffic Injuries, enforce strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols by motorists and road users, ensure high visibility of the Corps on the highways, minimize the occurrence of road traffic crashes on the nation’s highways through effective patrol operations and sustained public enlightenment campaigns among others”.
To ensure the effectiveness of the operations, Kazeem revealed that the Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi directed commanding officers operating across various formations nationwide to ensure that the 52 corridors are properly manned throughout the period of the operations.
He however appealed to motorists to obey all traffic rules and regulations and cooperate fully with the FRSC and other law enforcement agencies that would be deployed for traffic management duties, saying Mobile Courts would be in session across the country for prompt dispensation of justice to recalcitrant traffic violators.
The Corps Marshal, also directed that the operatives pay first-rate focus on Effective Traffic Control, Wrongful Overtaking, Use of Phone while Driving, Drivers Licence Violation, Lane Discipline, Removal of Rickety vehicles on the road, Driving with Expired/ worn out tyre and without spare tyre etc.
To achieve desired result, the Corps has deployed operational equipments in the categories of Radar Guns, Breathalysers to put a check on drunk driving, operational logistics materials are also to be fully deployed for this exercise. More so, the Corps Marshal has equally directed that all Zebras must be active 24/7 and be responsive to calls within the minimum FRSC response time to crashes reported.
In addition to the deployment of the above operational tools, and in the quest for improved service delivery and effective Patrol Operations, the Corp Marshal further invested in advanced Information Communication Technology to beef up its operations.
The new technology which includes Body Cameras and Vehicle Cameras currently under pilot study when fully deployed, shall be used for Patrol Operations, Surveillance and Traffic monitoring, Rescue operations, and Real time information gathering for decision making.
This device shall be put to Pilot test during the forthcoming Sallah operations before the official inauguration later this year.
Kazeem noted that, among the 52 corridors to be covered are: Akwanga-Lafiya-Makurdi, Jos-Bauchi-Gombe, Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Kebbi corridor, Katsina-Kano-Wudil-Dutse-Azare-Potiskum corridor, Kaduna-Saminaka-Jos corridor, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano corridor, Okene-Ogori-Isua-Owo corridor, Makurdi-Otukpo-Obollo Afor-9th Mile corridor, Asaba-Abraka-Ughelli-Warri corridor, Ibadan-Ogere-Sagamu corridor, Sagamu-Mowe-Lagos corridor, amongst others.
Special focus will be put in checking the following offences; Dangerous driving/overtaking, overloading violation, Use of phone while driving, Excessive speed, Lane indiscipline/Route violation, Passengers’ manifest violation, illegal use of SPY number plate, Latching violation among others.
In line with the foregoing, the patrol is to run in shifts as follows 0600hrs – 1400hrs, 1400HRS – 2000hrs, 2000hrs – 2200hrs, and Night Rescue teams to be on standby at all operational Commands. The Corps will go into the exercise with the friendly collaboration with Military Units en-route or resident, The Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of State Security, State owned/NGO’s Ambulance service providers, National Network on Emergency Rescue Services (NNERS) and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
The Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi has leveraged on the season to felicitate with the Muslim faithfuls as they celebrate this year’s sallah. Oyeyemi reiterated his earlier call on them to exemplify the essence of the season which is love, care and continuous obedience to established.
Expectedly, Oyeyemi assured all Nigerians of full deployment of personnel on the highways and crash emergency rescue services for prompt rescue and evacuation of crash victims in case of any mishap.
While urging them to show special consideration and attention to other road users especially because of the rainy season, so as to create a safer atmosphere for all during the celebration; the Corps Marshal further called on Nigerians to cooperate with law enforcement agents and ensure maximum compliance with all directives on restrictions and physical distancing.
He also stated that the National Traffic Radio 107.2 FM will continue to operate 24/7 to give real time traffic update. As such, he called on all travellers to take advantage of the Station, Situation Office numbers: 07054005754, 07054005712 08056294021/08056295022, and the FRSC Toll Free numbers 122 to report any obstruction, crash or gridlock witnessed on the road for prompt intervention of the nearest Command.