The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Anambra State Command says it is poised to face emerging road traffic challenges across parts of the state during the 2021 Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Anambra is a major gateway into the Southeast region and official data has shown that traffic rises by over 50 percent during the Yuletide, resulting in gridlock at various parts of the state.
This has been attributed to the socio-cultural importance attached by people of the State in particular, to Christmas and New Year celebrations.
At a press briefing at the Command headquarters in Awka on Friday on the Command’s Special Operations for the Christmas celebrations, the Anambra FRSC Sector Commander, Adeoye Irelewuyi said they have identified flashpoints for traffic challenges.
These flashpoints he noted, include Onitsha Metropolis, Onitsha- Owerri road, Ihiala, Umunze, Awka metropolis, Amansea, Oye-agu junction/Abagana, Nnobi Junction, Eke Awka, among others.
According to the Anambra FRSC boss, the Command has also devised operational strategies for addressing the problems.
One of the strategies, he said, is interacting with government and its relevant agencies to undertake palliative works on failed portions which cause traffic congestion.
“It is true that most of these bad portions cause serious traffic congestion and often result in motorists taking wrong routes in a bid to avoid them.
“We have conducted a road audit on the failed roads and forwarded to the appropriate government agencies at both state and Federal levels and will continue to mount pressure on them to work on the roads.
“We have also commence deployment of personnel, where we are deploying 407 regular marshals and 600 special marshals across parts of the state.
“We are also doing route lining especially at the Onitsha Bridge bridgehead,” he disclosed.
The Anambra Road Safety Chief revealed that from May 2021 when he assumed office, to November 2021, the command has arrested a total of 5503 offenders with 6687 offences (most prevalent offence being seat belt violation (SUV)), adding that 3 offenders were prosecuted and jailed within the period.
In his statistics, “The Command also recorded a total of 110 Road Traffic Crashes with 27 of them fatal, claiming a total number of 37 lives on Anambra roads within the 7 months period while 239 people were injured.”
Irelewuyi said the Command is setting up four major camps across Anambra for its marshals, to be located at Freedom park Onitsha, Upper iweka, 3-3 and Immigration junction, Awka.
The camps he noted, are to ensure that the marshals respond timeously to any emerging traffic situation.
“We are looking to reduce our response time to Road Traffic Crashes, RTCs to less than 10 minutes.
“Statistics have shown that most deaths from RTCs are recorded in the first one hour after incidents and that is why we want to ensure that we respond on time to see how we can save more lives in the event of crashes.
“That is why the camps are very important.
“They will also help us keep up with our target of extending our operational hours up till 20:00 hours especially in major cities of the state.
“It is also why we advise travelers, as much as they can, to avoid night travels because the chances of accessing help are highly limited,” he said.
The Anambra FRSC Sector Commander revealed that they are also sustaining enlightenment programmes for the motoring public, on the need for safe motoring environment.
He appealed to road users to maintain safe speed limits and obey all traffic rules and regulations, to exercise patience while on the roads and to cooperate with FRSC personnel, as they are there in their best interest.