Mr Joseph Aremu, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Imo has called for the outright ban of the sale of alcoholic drinks in motor parks across the federation.
Aremu made the call on Wednesday at the launch of its “Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign,” involving members of the state chapter of the National Association of Road Transport Workers (NARTW) in Owerri.
He said that 15 Per cent of Road Traffic Crashes (RTC) could be attributed to driving under the influence of alcohol.
He said that the campaign was designed to create awareness on the dangers associated with driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to him, “the abuse of alcohol and drugs are major contributing factors to RTC.” He said that most traffic offences, such as speeding and dangerous overtaking, amongst others, could be traced to alcohol use by drivers.
The sector commander therefore urged the government and NARTW to ensure that sale of alcohol was banned in motor parks.
He alleged that most commercial drivers had been found regularly drinking alcohol in different motor parks before embarking on a journey.
He said that driving under the influence of alcohol could lead to loss of coordination, poor judgment and vision.
Aremu said the ban of such business at the motor parks “would go a long way in minimising the level of intakes of alcohol, especially by commercial drivers.”
An official of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Imo, Mrs Margret Nwoko, also said that drug abuse and excessive intake of alcohol were the major setback to road safety in Nigeria. Nwoko said that the agency had intensified efforts to tackle the menace of drug abuse and assured FRSC of the agency’s support to ensure safety on the road.
A representative of the Nigerian Optometric Association, Dr. Jackling Elemba, said that the abuse of alcohol could also lead to eye disease, such as Glaucoma or Cataract.
Elemba said that apart from the disease, driving under the influence of alcohol could also lead to poor judgment, distorted vision and slow reflexes.
A major stakeholder and chairman of a motor park in Owerri, Mr Christopher Nwaneri, said that their union would set up a task force to implement the FRSC proposal.