The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it will begin the conduct of compulsory eye test for drivers to ascertain quality of vision to reduce Road Traffic Crashes (RTC) in 2020.
The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, said this at the corps operators’ meeting with Zonal Commanding officers (ZCO) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Oyeyemi said that poor vision was one of the major causes of road crashes globally and the corps would ensure that only drivers with excellent vision drive on Nigerian roads to avoid unnecessary carnage.
He said that the statistics of RTC in 2019 was not encouraging and admitted that the Corps needed to put in more strategies to ensure fewer accidents in 2020 and beyond.
The corps marshal said that the issue of poor vision was not limited to Nigeria, but was a global concern that needed urgent attention.
“The issue of vision for drivers is a global concern now from the preparatory conference held a fortnight ago in Washington DC.
“This issue is not only a Nigerian problem as it has become an international issue happening even in the developed countries.
“When we conducted a vision test randomly on the highway last year during the end of the year operation Zero tolerance special intervention patrol, 30 per cent of the drivers failed it.
“As you get older, the sight deteriorates in terms of accuracy of objects ahead of you; and this means failure to carry out the appropriate vision test for drivers may cause more harm than good.
“So, we would be partnering with Nigeria Optometrists Association (NOA) to ensure that commercial and articulated drivers’ inability to use glasses despite their poor vision would be corrected,” he said.
Oyeyemi reiterated that the issue of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol was a serious offence that would be strictly addressed, noting that drugs were more dangerous and stronger than alcohol.
He said that the FRSC would strengthen the partnership with National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and deploy various devices used in testing drivers to various parks across the country.
The Corps Marshal tasked all commanding officers to work harder not only to achieve these goals but to sustain and improve the current status of the corps especially in terms of global recognition and achievements in the region.
“Zonal commanding officers are enjoined to ensure close supervision of commands under their purview as you guide towards achieving the 2020 corporate strategic goals.
“It is imperative to engage in strategic thinking as you carry out this functions as these will inspire you to device new and effective ways to executing your task with seamless efforts but quality output,” he said.
Boboye appealed to motorists in the county to accord the personnel of the Corps maximum courtesy and cooperation in the discharge of their duties.
He said that the Corps would ensure that the full weight of law would be visited on anyone who assaults its personnel.