The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it has mobilised all its field and sector commands for the nationwide 2018 Easter Special Patrol operations.
The exercise, according to the Corps Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, is scheduled to run from March 28 to April 3 with focus on 39 corridors across the country.
Kazeem told our correspondent in Abuja on Monday that the special operation was aimed at drastic reduction in road traffic accidents and attendant deaths, among other objectives.
“The public holiday expected to be declared by the Federal Government will definitely cause an increase in vehicular movement across the nation’s highways.
“As such, it is expedient that the corps prepares ahead of time to curtail the situation in order to ensure smooth travel experience by motorists.
“The associated risks involved in upsurge of traffic are the occurrences road traffic crashes, road obstruction among others, which the corps must strategise to mitigate and we are doing that already.
“This falls in line with the 2018 corporate strategic goal of improved enforcement and rescue services to reduce road traffic crashes by 15 per cent and fatalities by 30 per cent.
“It is in view of the above that administrative instructions have already been issued to guide field commands on the course of action for a hitch-free exercise.’’
Kazeem outlined other objectives of the exercise to include effective traffic management to ensure free traffic flow, high visibility of FRSC personnel on the highways and robust public enlightenment.
Others are: strict enforcement of traffic laws and regulations, prompt response to road traffic crashes, adequate supervision, surveillance and monitoring of commands’ activities.
The identified critical corridors, according to him, include: Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Kebbi, Maiduguri-Biu-Numan-Jalingo-Wukani, Abuja-Lokoja-Okene, Enugu-Abakaliki-Ogoja-Mfum, Ibadan-Ife-Akure-Owo-Ifon-Benin and Benin-Warri-Patani-Sagbama-Ahoada-Port Harcourt highways.
The FRSC spokesman said over 22 traffic gridlock areas had also been identified nationwide and adequate personnel deployed to ensure free flow of traffic.
He listed the areas as Asaba by Bridge Head, Upper Iweka Road in Onitsha, Ore by construction area, Gwagwalada by bridge in the FCT, Katsina Ala by bridge in Katsina, among others.
According to him, the Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, has instructed all field commands to deploy personnel alongside special marshals and other relevant stakeholders on all the designated corridors and areas.
Kazeem added that the 2018 Easter Special Patrol operation would also focus on critical traffic offences such as failure to install speed limiting device, overloading and lane violations.
Others are: use of phone while driving, driving with expired or worn-out tyres, driving without spare tyres and traffic obstructions.
He stated that over 200 mobile courts were already on standby nationwide to prosecute traffic law offenders.
The field commands, he added, had been directed to ensure that the mobile courts sit throughout the seven-day period, and encourage magistrates to increase their sitting time for effective prosecution of traffic offenders.
He said the Corps would conduct “traffic count’’ on identified critical corridors such as Lagos-Ibadan, Kano-Katsina, Abuja-Kaduna, Abuja-Lokoja, Benin-Sagamu and Sokoto-Gusau.
He said the Operations Department at the headquarters would deploy special monitoring teams to ensure that the exercise held as planned.
While soliciting the cooperation of motorists and other road users, Kazeem advised those with complaints against any FRSC personnel to report to the nearest field or sector command office or reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.