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Christmas and New Year celebrations are around the corner! People will travel from different parts of the world to their various states, towns and villages to celebrate with their loved ones. This period is usually busy on Nigerian roads with intense business activities which ultimately culminate in travels, family re-union, festivities and fun. 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.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (March 23, 2017), Nigeria recorded 11, 363 road accidents in 2016. The report further said that speed violation was reported 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. (Source: Vanguard).

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 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. (Source: Premium Times).

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The figures are scary!

We need to take it easy!

We have to do something!

In view of the above, Leadership Development, Innovations & Dynamics Initiatives (LDIDI) decided to embark on a special road safety intervention tagged “Speed Kills People, Take It Easy” with the hash tag: #SpeedKillsPeople and #TakeItEasy. Speed Kills People, Take It Easy is not just a speed management campaign but a total road safety initiative of Leadership Development, Innovations & Dynamics Initiatives (LDIDI) to help reduce accidents on our roads this Christmas/New Year period. It helps Nigerians learn about the dangers of speeding and the consequences. Through this programme, we aim to reduce the number of road accidents and associated deaths and injuries this year. Though Speed Kills People, Take It Easy focuses primarily on speeding it also highlights other major risk factors like use of phone (calls and texting) and seat-belt use while driving, especially during festive periods.

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Speed Kills People, Take Easy is targets the festive periods of Christmas and the New Year and scheduled to commence on December 15 and end on January 15, 2018.

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It is important to observe that 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 road safety 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.

 

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.

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We must all be involved in this campaign! Why? You don’t know the driver that will convey your family members, spouse, children, friends, colleagues, neighbours to their destinations this period. You are not even sure the driver has enough education and knowledge on safety issues. You don’t know! Many drivers don’t know enough to help them cope with the challenges of the job at this period. They, therefore, get overwhelmed by the pressure!

This is why we must all be involved. We would be reaching them with road safety messages and education that will help them drive safely and take our beloved ones to their destinations in good piece and time.

For this campaign, we need a lot of human and material resources to pull it through. You too can help by joining the campaign. Kindly visit our website, www.ldidi-ngo.org and choose how you can support the campaign and the organization. May God bless you as join us as we make impact.

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Ike Ezugwu

President, LDIDI.