The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has called for introduction of stringent penalties for those who violate and breach the laid down traffic procedures in the country.
Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mohammed Idris made this known in a statement he issued in Abuja on Thursday.
He quoted Amaechi as saying that if traffic offence is criminalised and offenders are made to pay hugely, it will serve as deterrent, which will drastically reduce road accidents.
The Minister reiterated that the issue of road safety has become a priority both at the national and global levels considering its impact on the society at large.
He stated that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 3,400 people die on the roads every day and many of them get injured or disabled.
He stressed that the most disheartening is the fact that children, pedestrians, cyclists and the elderly are the most vulnerable.
Amaechi said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is placing the issue of road safety on the front burner with the aim of promoting good practices that address behavioural risk factors.
Amaechi recommended some safety measures such as avoiding speeding, not driving when one is exhausted or drunk, making or receiving calls; stressing that if these tips are adhered to, it will curb the rate of accidents on the roads.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Sabiu Zakari, was also quoted as saying that it was out of respect that the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has selected Nigeria as the country to host its conference.
Zakari, who was represented by Dr. Anthonia Ekpa, the Director of Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, noted that UNITAR has underscored the importance of Nigeria’s place on safety on our roads.
Zakari noted that it was envisaged that UNITAR’s aim for organising this event is to serve as a platform to address some of the emerging challenges on road safety.
He commended UNITAR for the High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) initiative of training enforcement officers to address road safety risk factors, using the Breathalyzer Machine, which detects drinking while driving.
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