By Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen

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The Leadership Development, Innovations & Dynamics Initiatives (LDIDI) will on December 15th, 2017 flag off ‘Speed Kills People, Take It Easy’ Campaign as part of it advocacy towards reducing the spate of crashes on Nigerian roads.

The initiative which was born on scary revelations by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on March 23, 2017, that Nigeria recorded 11, 363 road accidents in 2016 and high rate of speed violation as the major cause of the accidents in 2016, which accounted for 33.86 per cent of the total road accidents reported. A total of 30, 105 Nigerians got injured in the accidents in 2016. It was also reported that no fewer than 2, 673 people died in road accidents in Nigeria between January and June, 2017. This implies an average of 15 people died each day in the first six months of 2017 in road accidents across the country.

The Director General of LDIDI, Ike Ezugwu described the figures as scary hence, the need for people to take it easy. He said, ” In view of the above, we have decided to embark on this special road safety intervention tagged “Speed Kills People, Take It Easy” with the hash tag: #SpeedKillsPeople and #TakeItEasy.” According to him, ‘Speed Kills People, Take It Easy is a speed management campaign of LDIDI to help reduce accidents on our roads this Christmas/New Year period. He said through the campaign, LDIDI will help Nigerians to learn about the dangers of speeding and the consequences.

Ezugwu explained that, “Through this programme, we aim to reduce the number of road accidents and associated deaths and injuries this year. Speed Kills People, Take It Easy focuses primarily on speeding but highlighting other major risk factors: use of phone (calls and texting) and seat-belt use while driving, especially during festive periods.”

He noted that campaign was slated for festive periods of Christmas and the New Year because it is usually busy on Nigerian roads with intense business activities which ultimately culminate in travels, family re-union, festivities and fun.

Ezugwu said further, “It is also a period that records greatest number of accidents happens on the roads. It is also characterized by carelessness on the road by road drivers who flout traffic rules and regulations – over-speeding, texting and making calls while driving, drink-driving, unqualified drivers, over-loading of vehicles, etc.

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“Speeding is considered one of the main risk factors for fatal crashes. Studies reveal that the relationship between speed and injury severity is particularly critical for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. “There is extensive evidence from around the world that road safety campaigns complemented by the strict enforcement of laws can dramatically decrease reckless behavior on the roads”. This media campaign, along with increased FRSC patrols and police enforcement, will reduce the number of road traffic crashes and unnecessary fatalities and injuries on our roads during the festive period.” He urged LDIDI members to show commitment to the laudable initiative.

Ezugwu said,”The whole idea is to make enduring impact and save lives and property. I urge everyone to be committed to this project in whatever way possible. We need a lot of materials and human resources at this time to pull it through. A lot of work has also been done with various technical partnerships on the way. While we may not task members with the responsibility of funding the campaign, I request that

People register as soon as they can so that funds will be made available to support efforts already on ground. To keep the organization running some members have continued to foot the bills and carry out operational duties. Donations are welcome.”

By Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen