The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Anambra Command, on Tuesday in Awka held a road show to kick-start the National Bicycle Week.
Inaugurating the event, the Sector Commander of the FRSC in the state, Sunday Ajayi, said it was an advocacy for an integrated road transport system which encouraged the use of bicycles by the general public.
The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reports that the theme of the National Bicycle Week is “Reduce Congestion; Cycle Instead’’.
He said that to promote the culture of bicycle riding, there would be a road show on Jan.31 to take off from the Sector Command.
Ajayi said the move was in response to the ever increasing transportation challenges and traffic gridlocks on Nigerian roads, especially at city centres.
According to him, adopting the bicycle transport system would reduce environmental pollution from carbon emission, health issues from sedentary life and deaths due to crashes.
The sector commander said that a recent study showed that the 20 safest countries in global ranking on road transportation were those which had well planned and efficient bicycle transport systems.
“An efficient and planned bicycle transportation system will have a positive impact on national vehicle and by implication, road traffic crashes and national fuel consumption.
“The FRSC is empowered by its Enabling Act to undertake research on the cause of accidents and ways of preventing them.
“Results from one of such research indicated that a reduction in the number of urban motor vehicle usage will lead to a reduction in road crashes.
“Nigeria presently occupies the 91st position in the rank of safest roads globally and the bicycling system will take Nigeria to the best 20.
“It is therefore a wake-up call for all Nigerians to partner the FRSC and the national stakeholders’ forum on bicycle transportation to get Nigerians to enjoy riding pleasure and safety on our roads and streets,” he said.
Also speaking, the Anambra Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Dr Uju Nwogu, who are partners in the programme, said cycling was a very healthy activity that served multiple purposes.
Nwogu, represented by a director in the ministry, Joseph Umudu, said that cycling coaches in the ministry would be made available to the FRSC to assist in the campaign.
Also speaking, a professional cyclist, Patrick Ama, who led the team of demonstrators, said there was need for proper training in order to cycle safely.
Ama also encouraged people to take to cycling both as a sport and as a means of commuting because it was healthy and efficient.(