The Unit Commander RS 2.27 Ifo Unit Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), ACC Lanrewaju Ogundele, has admonished commercial motorcycle operators better known as okada riders, to adopt the ‘common sense’ rule while going about their daily business.
Ogundele was speaking at a sensitization programme for commercial motorcyclists, organized by the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) Youth Church situated at Martins bus stop, Alagbole-Akute Road, Ogun State.
According to the pastor in charge, Pastor Olayinka Oladapo, the event, among others; is part of programmes outlined for the Youth Church’s fifth-year anniversary celebrations.
Present at the eye-opening and thought-provoking session were top executives and unit heads of the two recognized okada riders’ unions in the state: Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN) and Amalgamated Motorcycles Owners and Riders Association (AMORAN), Akute unit.
The FRSC Commander, while emphasizing road ethics to the riders; said the need to embrace strict safety measures, imbibe a disciplined culture and adoption of proper adherence to road and traffic regulations, was pivotal to addressing the unwholesome recorded cases of road accidents, which had become an albatross.
“Road traffic accidents rank ninth among causes of death globally. In 2013 alone, nearly half- 47 per cent- of the road accidents in Nigeria involved an okada. Other vehicles involved in road accidents included commercial mini-buses which constituted 30 per cent. Cars alone caused 7 per cent of accidents.
Private buses also caused 7 per cent while commercial luxury buses constituted another 7 per cent. Trucks and trailers were the least accident-prone vehicles on the roads with 3 per cent accidents in their kitty and followed by mini-vans and SUVs which caused 4 per cent accidents.
“It is therefore instructive for us to tell you the executives and heads of the various units here present to convey to your people under you, the need for safety in the discharge of their duties. The importance of wearing reflective clothing and stripes to make you visible to motorists cannot be overemphasized. Ensure that your lighting systems are functional at all times and please always wear smart clothing while on your bikes.
“Let me reiterate the need to protect your head with a safety helmet fastened around your chin. It is equally advisable to use an eye protector, ensure you wear thick gloves to protect the hands and riding boots as against bathroom slippers which some of your riders use while on duty. Do not weave or meander on the road, slow down at intersections, do not carry more than one passenger and maintain a 50km/hr speed limit at all times. Most importantly, please apply the ‘common sense’ rule- do not drink and ride as this could cause you and the passenger your lives,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the unions, Comrade Olusegun thanked MFM Youth Church for organizing the programme just as he heaped encomiums on the FRSC for the lecture, saying he and his members would adhere to all they had been taught and that they would disseminate the information gathered to their members when they returned to their various stations.