Federal Road Safety Corps is to deploy 687 personnel in the 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom during the yuletide to ensure accident free period.
Sector Commander of the Corps, Akwa Ibom, Mr Ochi Oga, said this in an interview with journalists during the flag off mega rally to sensitise road users on safety measures in Uyo on Tuesday.
Oga noted that the command has put in place what they called “help areas” to respond to all road accidents during the festive period.
According to him, there will be personnel on patrol 24 hours every day and throughout the yuletide season in case of any road accidents for quick response and rescue of victims.
He explained that the corps has acquired a tow truck to remove blockage and clear gridlock for easy flow of traffic.
“Basically, for the state, we have 687 personnel that we are deploying for this exercise, the number of personnel will be throughout this period to make sure that everyone go about their festivities freely without hindrances and without obstruction in the state as much as possible.
“We have also put in place what we call help areas, that we respond promptly to every road mishap or road challenges during the ember month, particularly, December movement and activities.
“And we have specifically two locations in the state that the Help Area would be established, we have one at the Head bridge, Itu-Calabar road and one at Oron road. These are the flashpoints we have located in the state that we need such location.
“Now, what do we mean by help area, the help areas are basically areas where there will be deployment of personnel 24 hours throughout the period of festive activities and the personnel would be deployed in such a way that there will be skeletal medical services, attention would be given to victims of road crashes before being moved to major medical facility within the state.
“There have also been arrangement for tow truck at those help areas where there is a blockage at major ways, the tow truck can easily move to remove obstruction so that we don’t have a gridlock in and out of the state.
“We also expect during this period, our men will be there to guide and direct people during the period,” Oga said.
He said the command has also taken safety campaigns to churches, mosques, and all motor parks across the state to preach to roads users and all stakeholders on the need to drive with care during this period.
He urged travellers to commence their journeys on time to avoid rush and overloading, ensure their names and accurate information were written in the manifest in case of emergency.
He decried the attitude of some commuters, who provide wrong information in the manifest, adding in case of accident it would be difficult to trace their next of kin.
The sector commander said that some palliative has been carried out along Calabar-Itu highway, adding more need to be done to ensure free flow of traffic during this festive period.
“So, far the activities that characterized the ember months have been heightened to a large extent. We have seen some level of collaboration with other sister agencies.
“So, much that some palliatives on the road have been done by the Federal Ministry of Works along the Itu-Calabar road, also some vital areas of roads leading into the state and out of the state.
“We are also taking much time to educate the public. Like I said, we are out to ensure that the publicity is done in all the parks in the metropolis. We are stepping that up in other locations.
“As much as possible, we have also made arrangement to ensure that at least two churches are visited every Sunday to enlighten worshippers on what to do during this period. Early hours of the morning, every day, our patrol teams go out to the motor parks, the vehicles that are leaving the parks must comply with all safety regulations including COVID-19.
“Social distancing as a protocol for COVID-19 has been spelt out and we also insist that vehicles must be installed with the speed limiting devices, ” he said.
He urged drivers, fleet operators to ensure that their vehicles were in good condition before setting out on a journey to reduce road accidents during this festive season.