The Federal Road Safety Corps said on Friday that no fewer than 393 children were involved in crashes towards the end of the year out of which 29 lost their lives.
The corps noted that the fatality figure represented 21 per cent increase in the casualties recorded during the same period in 2017.
Overall, the FRSC specified that 275 persons were killed during the end of year special patrol for 2018 tagged, “Operation Zero Tolerance for Road Traffic Crashes.”
The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, in a statement on Friday signed by the Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, said the figure marked an 18.6 per cent decline compared to 2017 when 338 fatalities were recorded.
He said offences committed by motorists during the period under review ranged from non-use of speed limit devices, seatbelt violation, tyre violation and riding motorcycle without helmets.
In the statement, “The number of people killed during the recent end of year special patrol for 2018 dropped from 338 in 2017 to 275 in 2018 with a difference of 63, representing 18.6 per cent. The patrol commenced on December 20, 2018 and lasted till Tuesday, January 15, 2019.
“According to the report of the exercise, the overall result shows some level of improvement in certain areas when compared to that of the previous year. For instance, while a total of 540 crashes were recorded in 2017 as against 542 in 2018, representing 0.4 per cent increase, the number of people involved reduced from 4,418 in 2017 to 4,375 in 2018, which is a difference of 43, representing one per cent reduction.
“It was however sadly noted that an increased number of children was involved and killed in the crashes during the period, making it imperative that the corps put in place necessary measures to curb the incidents. A total of 393 children were involved in the crashes in 2018 as against 350 in 2017, with a difference of 43 representing 12 per cent increase.”
To arrest the trend, Oyeyemi said the corps would organise a national summit that would be focused fully on child safety in conjunction with non-governmental organisations and security agencies.
“The total number of people rescued without injury within the period in 2018 was 2,136 as against 2,041 in 2017. In the same vein, the total number of people injured in 2018 was 1,964 as against 2,040 recorded in 2017, which was a difference of 376.
“The report further indicates that the corps recorded six fatal crashes in the Darazo Local Government Area of Bauchi State with the highest number of casualties. One of the crashes claimed 16 lives, while the rest led to the death of 29 people,” the statement added.
The corps marshal pledged to sustain public enlightenment programmes and enforcement this year, noting that the experiences gained in the operations would be utilised in planning the 2019 exercise.