The Edo Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has said that 143 persons were killed in road safety crashes in the state due to absent mindedness of drivers.
Mr Anthony Oko, State sector commander of the corps revealed this on Thursday in Benin, at the flag-off of the 2019 Ember month campaign by the corps.
Oko said that the figure which represents 37 per cent was between January and October.
He said that the deaths were recorded from 170 road traffic cases, which involved 351 vehicles, while 664 persons were recorded injured.
He also revealed that 136 persons were recorded killed in 2018 due to the same factor, adding that the figure represented 39 per cent.
He explained that out of 290 probable causes of crashes that year, 113 were deduced to be caused by drivers absent mindedness.
He added that the figure was from 206 total crashes that happened within that period, with 387 vehicles involved and 801 persons injured.
The sector commander said that the theme for 2019 “Road Crash is Absence of Mind: Stay Alert, Stay Alive” was apt in capturing the situation.
He noted that absent mindedness was a topical issue that requires the attention of the state and relevant stakeholders as the yuletide approaches to increase awareness.
He explained that some of the road traffic crashes that emanated from drivers absent mindedness were use of phone while driving, fatigue, driving under influence and dangerous driving.
Others include wrongful overtaking, loss of control and some others that the road safety managers would look out for during this period.
Oko said that based on the records, the government and relevant stakeholders were to ensure that home grown initiatives and strategies working in synergy were deployed to make the campaign successful.
He therefore stressed the need for all to adhere strictly to road traffic laws and regulations at all levels and collaborate with the command to enforce traffic laws, ensure prompt rescue services as well as educate all categories of road users.
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo in his remarks attributed most road traffic crashes to human factors.
Obaseki, who was represented by Mr Ferguson Enabulele, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure therefore advised road users and drivers to be careful in activities and action concerning road traffic.
He cautioned against haste in approaches and emphasised the need to be alert and calculative.
Meanwhile the Zonal Commanding Officer, Zone RS 5, Mr Kehinde Adeleye, noted that during the ember months, there was increase in traffic volume and stressed the need for safety measures to be put in place.
Adeleye, represented by Mr Toby Joseph, a Deputy Corps Commander, explained and the ember month campaign exercise would be on 24 hours daily.