16th February, 2012
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to review the operations of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
Speaking at the 2nd Lagos State Motor Park Health Safety Campaign in Lagos, Fashola said that this would help to strengthen the capacity of the FRSC to ensure safety on the nation’s roads.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the campaign, which was facilitated by the state ministry of health, is aimed at promoting health safety and safe driving among commercial vehicle drivers.
According to him, the FRSC’s “main focus” on the printing of number plates and issuance of driver’s licences will not significantly reduce the cases of accidents on the nation’s roads.
Fashola said that the primary responsibility of the FRSC was safety which, he noted, was not delivered by printing of number plates and issuance of driver’s licences.
“Are the people receiving the licences tested to know whether they can drive before they are issued such licences?
“How many FRSC Trauma Emergency Centres are there on the highways to take care of accidents?” he queried.
The governor said that FRSC officials should be on the highways looking for traffic offenders, and not on the streets checking vehicle particulars.
He suggested that the FRSC should be involved in safety advocacy to sensitise drivers adequately to safe driving.
Fashola, who blamed most road accidents on unsafe driving, hoped that this would substantially address the problem.
The governor called for a sound transport policy at the federal level to ensure that the nation’s roads were safe for motorists and other users.
On communications masts which collapsed during the Feb. 13 rainstorm in parts of the state, he accused the telecommunications companies of failing to adhere to safety standards in erecting the masts.
“We are not competing with the exclusive right of the Federal Government to regulate the activities of telecommunications communication companies in the state.
“But what the Lagos State Government is concerned with is that before they build their masts and towers, they must visit the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to get approval for their designs,” Fashola said.
The governor explained that this was necessary because the mast was a structure that must be subjected to engineering and location regulations.
“The Federal Government does not have the capacity to regulate erection of masts and towers in the 36 states; it must be the responsibility of the states,” he said.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, said that the campaign was aimed at reducing road accidents in the state.
He said that apart from the campaign, transport workers would also be given free medical checkups to ensure they were fit for job.