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Ember months: Police, stakeholders in Delta speak on what motorists must do to avoid crashes

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The Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Delta State Command, has organized a week-long sensitization campaign across the state on the need to tackle the increasing menace of avoidable deaths on roads, particularly during the last four, “ember” months of the year.

The campaign, which commenced on Tuesday at the police officers’ mess in Asaba, was in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Delta State Management Agency (DESTMA), and other sister security agencies.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday in Asaba, the Commissioner of Police, Mustafa Muhammed said the campaign theme: “Say No To Avoidable Death”, was apt to reduce the carnage occasioned by road accidents, stressing that beyond the efforts of the police to educate the public, measure will be taken to enforce sanctions according to the provisions of the law.

The police boss called on opinion leaders to utilize their position either as traditional rulers, clergymen or other positions to campaign against the menace, stressing that the first half of preventing road accidents lies with the police and sister agencies while the other half rests with the society.

Earlier in his lecture, the Director-General of Delta State Traffic Management Agency (DESTMA), Mr. Stephen Dieseruvwe, charged motorists and other road users to engage in defensive driving as against competitive driving, adding that human error is the most prevalent contributing factor which accounts for over 80 per cent of deaths on the roads.

“Our roads are getting busier than previous times and they get busier in the yuletide season of every year. Associated with this busy roads, drivers have to cope with the unpredictable, irrational, competitive, offensive and dangerous driving attitudes of other drivers, which make our road conditions hostile, resulting in higher risks of accidents on our roads,” he said.

Other speakers who represented the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other stakeholders, identified causes of road accidents and suggested ways to address the menace which has continued to threaten road users, even as statistics of traffic crashes in the state between January to June 2018 shows 262 occurrence with 78 fatal accidents and 114 serious motor accidents, with 65 killed.

Some of the speakers lamented the careless attitude of drivers before embarking on a journey, noting that some of them do not check if their vehicles are road worthy, while others hit the road with elements of alcohol or other inducements which hamper their judgment and consciousness.

There was the consensus that obeying simple traffic rules can help prevent avoidable deaths on the highway.

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