The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Kaduna Zonal Command, said the command lost 72 officers and men on duty to reckless drivers in 2018.
Speaking at a one-day retreat organized for its commanding officers in the zone in Kaduna, the zonal commanding officer, Mr Abayomi Omiyale, explained that of the number that lost their lives, some were knocked down by reckless drivers.
Others, he added, were attacked by disobedient motorists and others for personal reasons.
The Kaduna Zonal Command of FRSC, according to him comprises of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States.
His words, “Over the last one year, our patrol officers have been knocked down, some were attacked or even shot, leading to the death of 72 patrol officers in the zone. Our vehicles and properties were also vandalised.”
He further explained that a total of 717 accidents, involving 6,190 vehicles, were recorded during the period under review, representing a 5.8 per cent reduction to the 725 accidents which were recorded in 2017.
The zonal commander regretted that 687 persons died in accidents, reflecting a 16 per cent increase on the 583 deaths that were recorded in 2017.
He said, “The number of those injured reduced from 3,144 persons in 2017 to 3,047 persons in 2018, representing a 3.0 per cent reduction.
“A breakdown of the statistics indicates that Jigawa recorded 84 accidents with 69 deaths — the highest in the zone — Katsina State recorded 14 accidents, while the number of accidents in Kaduna State reduced from 24 in 2017 to 14 in 2018.”
He observed that the increasing number of deaths from road crashes in the zone on vehicles overloading, excessive speeding and reckless driving.
Mr. Omiyale expressed confidence that the retreat would avail the participants and the zone the opportunity to assess its performance in the outgoing year and highlight the perceptible challenges, with a view to addressing them and fashioning out the way forward for 2019.
The zonal commander explained, “The retreat will also remind our patrol officers that we interface with the public during operations; we have to be civil and professional in carrying out our duty of ensuring sanity on our roads.
“We equally need to be cautious while on patrol; we should, however, look out for offenders who have a high tendency to become violent.”
Omiyale assured the commitment of FRSC toward ensuring a drastic reduction in road accidents by enforcing strict compliance with the traffic rules and regulations.
Gov. Nasir el-Rufai, represented by the Director of Civil Engineering, Kaduna state Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, Mr Yohana Waje, commended FRSC for its tireless efforts towards ensuring sanity on the country’s highways.