Femi Oyelola, kaduna
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kaduna Sector Command on Wednesday appealed to Julius Berger to open both lanes of Kaduna – Zaria expressway to avert traffic build- up during December festive season.
The Sector Commander, Corps Commander Hafiz Mohammed, made the appeal at the official flag-off of the 2019 Ember Months Campaign to enlighten road users against reckless driving in Kaduna.
Mohammed explained that the road, which was undergoing reconstruction had more than 12- kilometre diversions from four lanes to two lanes, causing serious traffic build-up, especially during festive seasons.
He pointed out that the volume of traffic along the expressway is expected to significantly increase by second week of December.
According to him, there will be resinous traffic gridlock if the diverted sections of the expressway are not open to allow free flow of traffic.
The commander commended the Kaduna State Government for supporting the command in managing traffic bottlenecks along the expressway since the commencement of the road reconstruction in June 2018.
On the ember months campaign, Mohammed said that the command, in partnership with the Kaduna state government would carry out massive awareness campaign to curb avoidable accidents on major highways.
He explained that the campaign became necessary in view of the increase vehicular and human movements during this period for festivities like Christmas, new year celebration and other social gatherings.
He also said that the period equally experiences post-harvest activities involving movement of agricultural produce from the farms to houses, warehouses, markets and industries.
“This increase of traffic density brings about crashes that usually results to deaths, injuries and loss of properties.
“The ember months campaign is, therefore, designed to enlighten the general motoring public to drive patiently as they share roads with other road users.
“We want our road users to know that ‘road safety is the state of mind and road accidents is the absence of mind’. Motorists need to be reminded that they need to stay alert to stay alive.
“We will be going to motor parks, places of worship, social gatherings to enlighten the people against over speed, overloading, tyre violations, light sign, use of phone while driving and other route violations,” he said.
Also speaking, Alhaji Aliyu Tanimu, State Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, also noted the urgent need to address the prevailing road traffic crashes along Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria expressway.
Tanimu acknowledged that the huge volume of traffic during festive season calls for serious caution to prevent avoidable death, adding that the union would support all measures taken by FRSC.
On her part, Hajiya Balaraba Inuwa, the Commissioner, Ministry for Public Works and Infrastructure, noted that road transports, the major mode of transportation in the country was associated with avoidable accidents.
Inuwa attributed road accidents to reckless driving and commended FRSC for the laudable efforts to stem the tide through public sensitisation.
She said that the current administration of the state has placed safety of lives and property of citizens at the front burner of interventions through the state’s Road Safety Advisory Committee.
The commissioner assured FRSC of the government’s sustainable collaboration in ensuring the safety and security of lives and property of all road users.