Federal Road Safety Corps has urged local governments in the country to relocate markets from highways.
FRSC Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, made the call in a statement on Sunday by the Public Education Officer of the corps, Bisi Kazeem.
The Corps Marshal decried the road traffic crash at the Ibaka area of Akungba Akoko, Akoko South-West Local Government Area of Ondo State on Saturday evening.
The statement confirmed that no fewer than 16 people died in the accident.
The statement read, “In a sustained efforts towards making the highways safer and eradicating all incidences of road traffic crashes and its attendant fatalities, Oyeyemi has urged Administrators of Local Governments in the country to relocate markets from the highways.
“This will help the existing operational efforts of the FRSC towards enhancing the safety of the entire motoring population.”
Lamenting the huge loss of lives and damage to properties, Oyeyemi said, “The fatal crash involved a total of 23 people comprising of 11 male adults, three male children, seven female adult and two female children.
“Out of the 23 people involved, a total of seven people comprising of three male adults, three female adult and one male child were rescued with different degrees of injuries and taking to the hospital.
“While 16 people got killed comprising of eight male adults, two male children, four female adult and two female children and the dead bodies have been deposited at Specialist Hospital Ikare and General Hospital Iwaro Oka mortuaries respectively by FRSC emergency rescue teams.”
Oyeyemi stated that the relocation of the markets is urgent, adding that “the Corps is concerned with the rising statistics of innocent citizens who have lost their lives as a result of building markets close to the highways and has since initiated impact oriented operational strategies to curb the menace.
He however lamented that the strategies no matter how good will not yield desired results if the government at the grassroots did not rise to the responsibility of relocating those markets.
Commiserating with the families of the victims, the Corps Marshal advised road users to be more disciplined, maintain their vehicles regularly and maintain prescribed speed limits at all times especially crowded places like markets.