Achieving success in the campaign against the of use of a phone while driving and drunk-driving, as well as the promotion of the use of crash helmets by motorcyclists, can only be achieved through the collective efforts of stakeholders. This call was made by the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Road Safety, Mr. Jean Todt during his courtesy visit to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the State House, Abuja.
(The Sun) – Todt is hopeful that with appreciable success in these areas, Nigeria would meet the target of the UN Decade of Action on road safety: 2011-2020, described the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) as an inspiration for other African countries and called on them to emulate Nigeria’s example in dealing with the menace of road traffic crashes in the continent.
Speaking as the guest speaker at the 7th edition of the FRSC Annual Lecture Series, he thanked the people and government of Nigeria for the warm reception accorded him and members of his entourage.
Noting that the lecture was a huge success, he described the annual forum as a positive initiative capable of generating public awareness on issues of road safety. He said that he was impressed with the organizational structure of the cops, its enforcement capability and investment in human capacity development which have resulted in a boost in ambulance and rescue services on the nation’s highways.
Mr. Todt commended the Nigerian government for the huge investment made in road safety, saying what he has seen in the country has allayed his fears about the growing menace of road traffic crashes in developing countries, particularly in the African continent.
The envoy further disclosed that the UN has worked on a number of conventions which he would be availing the FRSC to enhance its capacity for enforcement and appealed for sustained government support through improved investment in road infrastructure and education.
In his remarks, the Vice President thanked Mt Todt for visiting the country and accepting to serve as the Guest Speaker at this year’s edition of the FRSC annual lecture series. This, he said, was an indication of the envoy’s interest in road safety matters especially in Africa, and commended him for his untiring efforts to encourage African countries to set up their own road safety lead agencies.
He restated the commitment of the Nigerian government to road safety campaign, noting that the recent approval given to the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy Document by the National Economic Council and the inauguration of the National Road Safety Advisory Council point to the nation’s readiness to tackle the menace of road traffic crashes with political will of the government.
The Vice President identified attitudinal change as the major threat to the success of road safety campaign in the country, saying issues like the use of seatbelt, speeding and drunk driving are attitude-related and could be addressed through positive attitude change by people.
Earlier in his lecture at the Presidential Villa, the envoy had expressed concern with the low level of commitment to issues of road safety by governments of African countries, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the social and economic consequences of the menace of road traffic crashes on the development of the continent.