The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) revealed yesterday in Abuja that no fewer than two hundred and eighty Nigerians were killed in auto crashes across the country during the just-concluded Christmas/New Year festivities.
One thousand, six hundred road users were injured during the period.
Mr. Osita Chidoka, the Corps Marshal who made the revelation, said the situation could have been worse, but for the 2012 Operation Zero Offences introduced by the corps to ease traffic flow.
He said the death rate from auto accidents has declined in the last 10 years, especially during Christmas period.
Mr. Chidoka, who spoke at the completion of the FRSC Aerial Traffic Monitoring exercise carried out in a few locations across the country, said: “From December 19, 2012 to today, we have had over 480 crashes.
“It’s an improvement on the previous year. We had about 1,600 people injured and 280 deaths arising from these crashes.”
Apart from the improvement on road networks, he maintained that the commission’s effort in managing the traffic has been improving. The current operation, he said, will continue for the next four days.
Explaining how air surveillance has helped to check traffic on the road, he noted that they had better view of the road and were able to give appropriate directives.
“We went through Enugu, Lokoja, Gwagwalada and Abuja traffic is moving clearly. We landed in Onitsha, Lokoja and we were able to give ideas on what was happening because you can have a better view of the road,” he added.
According to him, about 36, 972 vehicles were stopped in the last sixteen days across the country while 13, 122 of them were booked and 23, 850 were cautioned and permitted to continue their journey.
One person, he said, was sent to prison by the mobile court as a result of the operation.
He also attributed the successes being recorded in the country to improvement in data collection, monitoring mechanism as well as increase in staff strength.