By Ogundele Olanrewaju
Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, urged road users in the state to strictly adhere to the extant laws and guidelines on road safety as the Yuletide season approaches.
Governor Makinde, who was represented by the chairman of the Oyo State Road and Traffic Maintenance Agency (OYRTMA), Dr. Akin Fagbemi, stated that the job of road safety is everybody’s responsibility and thus should not be left to governments alone.
Governor Makinde gave the admonition at the 2021 Special Marshals Sectoral Workshop, held at the Mauve 21 Event Centre, Ibadan.
The governor explained that, in tandem with existing Federal Road Safety Laws and the United Nations Road Safety Strategy, the government of Oyo State has provided a platform to strengthen road traffic legislation and activities month-on-month through the Oyo State Road Traffic Management Authority Law, 2009 as amended.
While commending the efforts of the management of the FRSC for the workshop, he stressed that the corps’ significant roles in ensuring good road usage across the country cannot be overemphasised.
He said: “I am delighted to address this august gathering on the occasion of 2021 Special Marshals Sectoral Workshop with the theme: ‘Volunteerism Beyond Ember months: The Role of Special Marshals in Combating Road Traffic Crashes, RTC.’
“I will like to use this opportunity to once again applaud the efforts of the management of the FRSC, particularly the Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, for organising this workshop, which is aimed at enhancing the knowledge and contributions of Special Marshals to road safety ideals and values.
“I am aware that the Special Marshals are the volunteer arm of the FRSC created by the same FRSC Statute in Section 10 (1) of the FRSC Establishment Act (2007) as amended.
“You all are men and women of means, with proven integrity in society and the ability to influence communities in favour of the course of road safety. Therefore, it is imperative to note that your significant roles in ensuring good road usage across the country cannot be overemphasised.
“The Special Marshal arm of the FRSC is reputed as the largest volunteer arm of any road safety agency in Africa. The act of volunteerism is natural in the sense that it is purely to ensure the safety of lives on the roads. So, it is neither a political issue nor partisan in nature. It is devoid of tribalism or religion.
“The Special Marshals are highly-spirited individuals who volunteer to educate people in the area of advocacy on good road usage and ensuring motorists understand the signs and signals on the road.
“In line with the theme of this workshop, it is important we state in unequivocal terms that the roles of Special Marshals highlighted above are not restricted only to the ‘Ember’ months.
“The Oyo State Government has provided a platform to strengthen road traffic legislation and activities month-on-month through the Oyo State Road Traffic Management Authority Law, 2009 as amended in tandem with existing Federal Road Safety Laws and the United Nations Road Safety Strategy.
“As you may already know, the job of road safety is everybody’s responsibility and thus should not be left to governments alone. I, therefore, charge all relevant stakeholders, including the road users, to strictly adhere to the extant laws and guidelines on road safety particularly here in Oyo, the Pace Setter State during these ‘Ember’ months and beyond.”
The governor, who described the workshop as timely and critical, said the Oyo State government places a premium on the safety of its residents and their properties and would key into the FRSC’s initiative and ensure its success.
“As a State with immense premium on the safety of lives and properties, the Oyo State Government is ready to key into this initiative and ensure its resounding success that will resonate across the country and once again showcase our dear State truly as the Pacesetter.
“Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, I implore all of you to contribute actively during the technical session of this workshop with a view to developing a workable framework that will ensure the roles of Special Marshals in combating RTC are felt far beyond the ‘Ember’ months,” he added.