THE ROLE OF federal road safety corp (FRSC) IN REDUCING ACCIDENTS ON NIGERIAN ROADS.A CASE STUDY OF RIVERS STATE.
1.1 Background To The Study
The period which precipate the establishment of Federal Road Safety Commission in 1988,shows that no specific and approved policy action existed to address the carnage on Nigerian roads .However some actions were taken as an attempt to address the issue of road accident in Nigeria .For example shell petroleum development company of Nigeria undertook a Notable efforts to institute a formidable road safety program between 1960 and 1965. Also the Nigerian Army undertook the training of its officers and men on road safety issues in the early period of 1970 which also raised the consciousness of road safety in Nigeria: Consequently the Nigerian Army instituted in 1972 the First Public Road Safety Campaign through an annual Road Safety Week.
The period 1974 marked the beginning of the first deliberate policy on road safety which led to the creation of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) by the military government of the time. However the Commissions impact was not felt.In 1977, the Oyo state government made another attempt by setting up a road safety corp which made some impact in the improvements of road safety and road discipline at the local level but was later disbanded by the federal government in 1983.However the increasing rate of road canage precipated the need for the federal government to establish the present Federal Road Safety Corps in 1988 to address the carnage on the highways. Prior to this Nigeria was counted as one of the most road traffic accident (RTA) prone countries worldwide.
The Federal Road Safety Corps is a federal Government Agency vested with the statutory duties to oversee the administration of road safety in Nigeria. It was Founded in 1988, and operates in all states in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory.
When the Federal Road Safety Commission (federal road safety corp (FRSC)) of Nigeria was commissioned in 1988, the federal road safety corp (FRSC) became the sole agency with the statutory obligation in Nigeria for road safety management and administration. Its core duties include: ensuring a safe high way for motorists and other road users, checking road worthiness of vehicles, providing the needed recommendation for works and infrastructures to reduce and eliminate accidents on the highways as well as instruct the public and motorist on the need of road discipline on the highways. federal road safety corp (FRSC).gov.ng. The research therefore seeks to investigate the role of federal road safety corp (FRSC) in reducing accidents on Nigerian roads .A case study of Rivers state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The increasing trend of road carnage in the nation’s highways precipated the need for the federal government to adopt a credible and effective measure to response to the challenge. Consequently the federal government in 1988 established the Federal Road Safety Commission through Decree No. 45 of the 1988 as amended by Decree 35 of 1992 which is referred to in the statute books as the federal road safety corp (FRSC) Act cap 141 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN). It was Passed by the Nigerian National Assembly as Federal Road Safety Corps (establishment) Act 200 which specifies in clear terms the functions of the Commission to include among others
1. Ensuring a safe highway for motorists and other road users.
2. Providing Recommendations for works and devices considered significant for the elimination or minimization of road accidents on the highways in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
3. Providing instruction on road discipline to the public, motorists and other road users.
Therefore in executing this mandate the Commission shall have the power to arrest and prosecute persons considered to have reasonably committed any traffic offence.
However, despite the constitutional role and enabling laws backing the operations of the federal road safety corp (FRSC), it is still perplexing that hugh casualties are still recorded on our roads daily. Consequently the number of accident on our roads remains unimaginable with huge loss of lives and properties amounting to Billions of naira on an annual basis. Therefore the problem confronting the research is to appraise the role of federal road safety corp (FRSC) in reducing accident on Nigerian roads.