RECENTLY, a training programme on
road safety organised for commercial
drivers in Kaduna underscored the
significance of safe usage of roads,
especially during the “ember months”,
that is between September and December
of every year.
Every year, especially between
September and December, the country
records high rate of road crashes.
Usually, government, business and
corporate organisations wind down
their programmes or activities. For
commercial drivers and transport
companies, it is an opportunity to double
business programme for high turnover
because there are increased human and
vehicular movements across the country.
For tourists, the Yuletide is an
opportunity to travel with families
and loved ones within the country.
Thousands of people who work and do
businesses in the cities and big towns,
or far places from their states of origin
plan for a long, funful holidays to reunite
with relations they have not met for a
long time.
A training programme for commercial
transporters under the aegis of National
Union of Road Transport Workers
(NURTW), Kaduna Chapter, was
organised by the Automobile and
Touring Club of Nigeria (ATCN) and it
took place in the premises of the Kaduna
State Ministry of Works Complex was
between October 24-25, 2017.
In his opening address to participants
during the first session, the president of
ATCN, Mr. Isiaku Bamayi, challenged
the audience on the need to take full
advantage of the programme in order
to reduce accident risk among NURTW
members.
The emphasis was hinged the fact
that there have been reported cases of
road crashes linked to breaking of traffic
rules and careless use of the road. It is
obvious that many commercial drivers,
even car owners who do not have good
knowledge or awareness of certain laws
that regulate the use of the roads. Many
may know but do not apply them.
Besides, there are other issues that
relate to how to attend to emergency
cases arising from road crashes,
especially using first aid kits.
The objectives of the training
programme, according to Mr. Bamayi,
included “to reduce road traffic
problems, ensure child safety in the
vehicle, reduce casualty rate for the
targeted group and influence long term
behaviour on public roads”, he said
adding that “the fundamental focus
is ensure that the lives of commercial
drivers, passengers, motorists and other
road users are safe on the road.
The programme which was well
attended had stakeholders such as
officials of NURTW Kaduna Chapter;
officials of FRSC, as well as staffs of the
Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology
(NITT), Zaria, were among the resource
persons who played central roles.
The road safety training programme
for commercial transporters was part of
the FIA’s Road Safety Grant designed to
support and promote enlightenment and
public education on safety of lives and
property as they concern the usage of
roads.
Elated participants at the programme,
while commending ATCN for organising
the training called on Mr. Bamayi, ATCN’s
president, to do all within his organisation’s
power to ensure that the programme is
organised on a regular basis and if possible,
to other states of the Nigerian federation
in order to extend the programme. The
highlight of their commendation was the
remark that the training took place in the
ember months period.
Commentators have described ember
months as the months during which
people witness high rate of deaths and
evil occurrences, especially for travellers
who use road. In order words, there
are increased number of road crashes
resulting in high figure mortality because
of fast-paced movements during the festive
season. It was observed that churches and
other religious bodies engage in lengthy
fasting and prayers, all-night prayers and
other high tempo spiritual programmes in
order to avert evil occurrences associated
with ember months period.
Therefore, such training programmes
being organised by relevant government
agencies in partnership with other
stakeholders such as ATCN are encouraged
in order to boost public awareness
campaign on road safety. For instance,
corporate organisations, groups and civil
society organisations and clubs such as
ATCN are playing important roles in this
regard. For instance, in September this
year, the Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc
entered into a partnership with the Federal
Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to ensure safety
on the highways by discouraging habit of
drinking while driving.
Mr Kufre Ekanem, the Corporate Affairs
Adviser, NB Plc, made this known at a
news conference on the campaign tagged:
“Don’t Drink and Drive” in Lagos.
According to him, the partnership was
part of the company’s long-term agenda on
responsible consumption campaigns.
The purpose According to him, Don’t
Drink and Drive Campaign is a corporate
social responsibility initiative designed
to improve safety on Nigerian roads by
discouraging the habit of drinking while
driving. “The campaign is designed to
improve safety, especially among the
commercial drivers and motorcycle riders,
young people with access to cars and
private car owners and drivers.
“The sustenance of this initiative for 10
years is no doubt a demonstration of our
commitment to the promotion of safety on
Nigerian roads. The campaign involves
enlightenment rallies for drivers in various

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cities, deployment of print and electronic
media messages and distribution of
fliers.
“We also offer free medical checks
such as blood pressure and eye test
for participating drivers during the
rallies. Since inception, we have held
enlightenment rallies in popular motor
parks and other locations in 39 cities and
towns across Nigeria on safety purposes.
“In the process, we have engaged over
16,000 drivers and other road users with
a higher number of people impacted
through mass media messages,” he said.
The efforts of FRSC’s continued
commitment to the promotion of
road safety in the country, as well as
supporting and partnering with ATCN
is being commended by stakeholders.
It is noteworthy that, Dr Boboye
Oyeyemi, the FRSC Corps Marshal, said
that the corps had upheld improved
consultations and collaboration as one
of its core values. Oyeyemi, represented
by Mr Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Public
Education Officer, challenged vehicle
owners to install speed limit devices as
part of the measures to reduce the speedrelated
road crashes.
He further stated that, collated
information through ICT initiatives,
have been the bedrock of the corps
tremendous efforts to reposition its
road traffic administration machinery
through the informed deployment of
human and material resources. “As an
intelligent-driven government agency,
the corps has identified some road vices.
“Traffic light violation, route violation,
use of cell phone while driving and
reckless driving are most prevalent,
among other causative factors that lead
to road crashes,” he said.
At the end of the ATCN in Kaduna,
stakeholders agreed that such
programmes, initiative by the touring
club were worthwhile and should be
sustained.

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