By: Jimmysayo Adebiyi
The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ondo State, Corps Commander Ezekiel Sonallah, has emphasized the possibility of meeting delivery deadlines without disregarding speed regulations and other traffic rules.
This statement was made during a workshop organized for media professionals in Akure, the state capital, at the FRSC RS11.2 Headquarters in Akure.
Sonallah, speaking on the theme “Offensive and Defensive Driving,” highlighted the FRSC’s commitment to ensuring the safety of journalists during their reporting assignments, especially while on the roads.
He noted that the daily routine of media personnel is demanding, often characterized by the urgency of breaking news and delivering results promptly. The Corps Commander stressed that it is entirely feasible to meet delivery timelines without violating speed limits, traffic regulations, and with proper trip planning, including good vehicle maintenance, which significantly reduces the likelihood of engaging in offensive driving.
Sonallah also mentioned that the FRSC had brought together reporters and drivers, who are frequently involved in deliveries, to emphasize the importance of mutual understanding in the course of their work.
In his address, Sonallah expressed appreciation for the efforts of media professionals in supporting the goals and objectives of the FRSC Corps in their reporting assignments, underscoring the significance of defensive driving practices in avoiding incidents with offensive drivers.
The workshop’s lecture was delivered by the Sector Head of Operations, DCC Richard Adetoro, who was represented by SRC Busuyi. The theme was “Offensive and Defensive Driving: Ensuring Operational Delivery with High Safety Standards on Our Roads.”
Adetoro explained that defensive driving involves strategies that minimize risks and help avoid collisions by predicting hazards on the roads, including reckless driving by other motorists.
In contrast, offensive driving involves violating one or more driving regulations and jeopardizing the lives of other road users and their property. Adetoro listed examples of offensive driving behaviors, such as excessive speed, dangerous overtaking, route violations, using a phone while driving, lane indiscipline, overloading, seatbelt violations, and underage driving. Defensive drivers prioritize safety, adhere to traffic regulations, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and avoid competing or racing on the roads, among other responsible practices.
Meanwhile, the State Coordinator of Special Marshal RS11.2, Mr. Tunde Adeoba, emphasized in his welcome address that individuals must prioritize safety and consciousness on the roads before spreading the message to other road users. He recalled the tragic death of Mr. Stephen Sotounwa, a reporter who hosted FRSC public enlightenment programs on Orange FM, due to a road accident, despite his good work.
Adeoba stressed that Sotounwa had consistently encouraged the public to avoid over-speeding and dangerous overtaking every Friday morning on Orange FM.
The General Manager of Crest FM, Mr. Adeolu Gboyega, urged media professionals in the workshop to prioritize life, time, and money, regardless of their circumstances. He emphasized that any driving that deviates from defensive driving principles can be considered offensive.
Gboyega also highlighted the critical role of the roads that individuals use between work and home, emphasizing their importance to the economy of individuals, the state, and Nigeria as a whole.
Additionally, at the workshop, the Chairman of the Ondo State Nigeria Union of Journalists, Prince Leke Adegbite, represented by Mr. Olaoluwa Meshach, expressed gratitude to the Sector Commander for organizing life-saving programs for media professionals and promised a strong working relationship with the FRSC during his tenure. He also urged the Commander to address issues related to tricycle operators.