The Federal Road Safety Corps on Friday said 72 officers of Kaduna Zonal Command of the corps were killed on duty by reckless drivers in 2018.
The FRSC Zonal Commanding Officer, Abayomi Omiyale, said while some of the officers were knocked down, others were attacked by errant motorists and other road users.
The zonal command comprises four North-West states of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa.
Omiyale revealed the figure at a one-day retreat organised for FRSC commanding officers in the zone, News Agency of Nigeria reports.
He said, “Over the last one year, our patrol officers have been knocked down; some were attacked or even shot, leading to the death of 72 patrol officers in the zone. Our vehicles and properties were also vandalised.”
Omiyale said a total of 717 accidents, involving 6,190 vehicles, were recorded during the period under review, representing a 5.8 per cent reduction in the 725 crashes which were recorded in 2017.
He said 687 persons died in the accidents, reflecting a 16 per cent increase in the 583 deaths that were recorded in 2017.
He, however, stated that the number of those injured reduced from 3,144 persons in 2017 to 3,047 persons in 2018, representing a 3.0 per cent reduction.
NAN reports that a breakdown of the statistics indicates that Jigawa recorded 84 accidents with 69 deaths — the highest in the zone — Katsina State recorded 14 accidents, while the number of accidents in Kaduna State reduced from 24 in 2017 to 14 in 2018.
Omiyale particularly blamed the increasing number of deaths from road crashes in the zone on vehicles overloading, excessive speeding and reckless driving.
He said the retreat would provide an opportunity for the zonal FRSC command to assess its performance in the outgoing year and highlight the perceptible challenges, with a view to addressing them and fashioning out the way forward for 2019.
“The retreat will also remind our patrol officers that we interface with the public during operations; we have to be civil and professional in carrying out our duty of ensuring sanity on our roads,” he added.
The zonal commander reiterated the commitment of FRSC to ensuring a drastic reduction in road accidents by enforcing strict compliance with the traffic rules and regulations.
Also speaking, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State commended FRSC for its tireless efforts to ensure sanity on the road.
The governor, who was represented by Mr Yohana Waje, Director of Civil Engineering, Kaduna Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, pledged the state government’s support for the efforts of FRSC to promote road safety.