The Beer Sectoral Group (BSG) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) have joined forces to eliminate road traffic accidents, aiming to create a safer environment for motorists in the country,leadership report.
This collaborative effort is crucial, especially as it coincides with the need to raise awareness among road users and commuters during the “ember” months. Reports indicate that annually, over 1.3 million individuals lose their lives in road traffic accidents, with approximately 50 million others suffering various degrees of injuries worldwide.
During the launch of the ‘Don’t Drink & Drive’ campaign and park rallies in Lagos, the Chairman of the BSG and Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Hans Essaadi, explained that an MOU between the BSG and the FRSC in 2017 laid the foundation for supporting the FRSC’s mission of fostering a safe motoring environment in Nigeria. This collaboration gave rise to the ‘Don’t Drink & Drive’ campaign, a flagship initiative aimed at educating drivers and other road users about the perils of drink-driving and how to avoid it.
Since 2018, except for 2020 when it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BSG and the FRSC have consistently executed this campaign as an annual event. The campaign strongly discourages any connection between alcohol consumption and driving, including the sale of alcohol at motor parks.
To reinforce this message, the BSG and the FRSC conduct random voluntary breathalyzer tests at motor parks to showcase how the FRSC fulfills its duty of testing drivers for alcohol consumption. The BSG also regularly donates new breathalyzers to the FRSC and helps in maintaining and calibrating existing devices. These breathalyzers are used to assess drivers both before and after embarking on a journey to ensure they do not drive under the influence of alcohol.
The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu, represented by Assistant Corps Marshal Gilbert Igbokwe, expressed gratitude for the partnership with the BSG and emphasized the importance of sustaining the campaign. He also invited other private sector entities to collaborate with the FRSC to achieve its safety objectives.
Furthermore, he highlighted that the “ember” months (September to December) witness heightened economic activities as people strive to meet their yearly goals and prepare for Christmas celebrations. The campaign during this period serves as a reminder that road accidents are preventable and that road users play a critical role in road safety. The theme for this year’s campaign, “Speed thrills but kills: Drive responsibly, avoid overloading,” underscores the prevalent violations that are the top safety concerns during the “ember” months.