NEMA’s assistant coordinator, Mr Apollos Jediel, disclosed this while receiving delegations from some NGOs who paid condolence visit to his office over the death of the agency’s zonal coordinator, Hajiya Fatima Usman, who died recently along with her children in a ghastly motor accident.
He said that road traffic fatalities are forecast to increase over the next 10 years from the current level of more than 1.3 million yearly to more than 1.9 million by the year 2020.
“These hidden road casualties and injury epidemics which takes away our agile and skilled manpower is a crisis for public health and major contributor to the causes of poverty. It is high time we treated it as a national emergency as we are daily being confronted by an epidemic that kills and maims more than major infectious diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS,“ he said.
The assistant coordinator fingered drivers of petroleum tankers, trailers and other large-sized vehicles as the major causes of road accidents in the country, noting that over 70 percent of road accident could be prevented, if the heavy duty vehicles adhere to prescribed driving codes.
Jediel called on the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to watch out and arrest tanker and trailer drivers that park vehicles indiscriminately along highways. He also advised motorists and other road users to report to security agencies any erring or reckless drivers for appropriate sanctions to be meted on them.