The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says over 40,000 people die annually from road traffic crashes in Nigeria.
The Corps Marshal of FRSC, Dauda Biu, said this on Monday in Abuja during activities marking the 7th United Nations Global Road Safety Week.
He said these road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and disability in the country.
He also said 1.3 million people were killed and as many as 50 million people injured each year globally.
According to him, there is no greater threat to people aged 5-29 years than road traffic crashes, as one in every four deaths occurs among pedestrians and cyclists.
“In Nigeria, over 40,000 persons die annually as a result of this avoidable scourge,“ he said.
The FRSC boss said the United Nations had developed a global plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030.
He said it had an ambitious target to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries, which would be by 50 per cent by 2030.
Mr Biu said the 2023 edition of the event with the theme; ‘’Sustainable Transport‘’ is slated for Monday to Sunday.
“FRSC is partnering with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Federal Ministry of Health (FMH) and United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety and Injury Prevention (UNDARSIP) to mark the event with various activities.”
According to him, taking action to ensure safe roads, vehicles and behaviours and improve emergency care is paramount.
“The 7th UN Global Road Safety Week is focusing on sustainable transport with the slogan #RethinkMobility, which necessitates the urgent need to shift to walking, cycling and using public transport.
“The key messages of this year’s event centre on the need for governments and their partners to rethink mobility.
“Ensuring safety must be at the core of efforts to re-imagine mobility, and thus road networks must be designed with the most-at-risk in mind, “he said.
The Corps Marshal, however, called on governments at all levels and partners to rethink mobility with a mindset to provide access to safe and affordable mobility systems for all.
Mr Biu stressed the need for the government to make available accessible, resilient, low and sustainable mobility systems to create livable cities that would fulfil the mobility needs of all.
This, he said, was to ensure safety at all costs, adding that the road network must be designed in consideration of the vulnerable road users who were the most at risk in mind.
He noted that this would ensure that they feel safe walking and cycling, adding that this would further promote good health, sustainable cities and an equitable society.
Meanwhile, the Focal Person/Country representative, UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, Sydney Ibeanusi, said the government would continue to put the issue of road safety on the front burner.
Mr Ibeanusi said Nigeria had a better system, saying, “What we want to show the world is that the system actually exists.
“Nigeria has been chosen as a country to improve cycling, and Abuja has been chosen as one of the five states globally.
”This is for project implementation to encourage cycling, and we will not relent in our efforts,“ he said.