The Federal Road Safety Corps has begun the annual Ember Months campaign, across its commands in the country. The Corps has equally advised motorists to pay attention to their health, especially their eyes and mental health and exercise patience while on the road.
The awareness became necessary because, whenever we embark on the last leg of each year tagged the ‘Ember Months’ many become edgy, the atmosphere is tensed up. It is a period that is approached with dread and trepidations.
As if to buttress the belief of the ember month’s doom, there have been records of accidents along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in a couple of weeks this month. One of such, a popular gospel singer, Dunsin Oyeyan escaped a ghastly accident by the whiskers. Statistics from year to year have also shown that September to December holds the highest record of untimely deaths from road accidents in this country.
In fact, the enlightened communities live in fear and trembling. This unbecoming fear, perhaps arises from widespread misconception that the last four months of the year—September to December—must be doom-laden.
Myth surrounding it says, the months have been ordained and woven into the ‘tragedious’ ending of many, so the majority have held on to that belief. From the first day of the month of September, many lose their composure: What has the period in store this year for us?
To this end, the Ag. Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu has ensured the FRSC across all commands in the country embark on a thorough awareness drive. While some held a walk, others had sensitization programs attended by Sister agencies such as the Nigeria Immigration Service, Man o’ War, Sports Commission, Footballers’ Association, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and other FRSC allies.
The essence of the month-long campaign is basically to educate motorists on how to drive safely. Traffic officials blame the accidents on the impact of hard drugs on drivers, speeding, indiscriminate parking, wrong overtaking, driving against traffic, and traders displaying their wares on walkways, in some cases the display eating into the roads. They urge all road users to comply with traffic regulations and be conscious of other road usersHowever, it is high time, drivers and road users realize that there is nothing negative about the Ember Months except that we usually witness a high level of vehicle movement.
Also attitudinal behaviours of drivers during the period cause road crashes and not any evil associated with the months.
Ceremonies such as weddings, traditional events and burial, among others, are fixed and those from abroad come home to felicitate with their loved ones, which sometimes increases the vehicular movement.
So the awareness programmes held under the supervision of Dauda Biu are to prepare FRSC personnel physically and mentally for the task of managing road traffic during the period.
Motorists also need to cooperate with FRSC officials by avoiding overloading, worn out tyres as well as change in attitudinal behaviours on the use of roads to reduce crashes.
From the foregoing and despite visible causes attributed to human errors, the unfounded belief that the ember months are jinxed lingers and for many it is not about to go away soon all of which is borne out of ignorance.
However, the truth is there is no day, nor month that is cursed. According to Guardian Newspapers, higher knowledge that is available to those seeking the truth about life and existence, about reasons for all happenings; to those who are genuinely seeking solutions to problems, shows that we are granted intuitional guidance every second, year in, year out. We are exposed to unnecessary risks only when we do not take advantage of the high grace.
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper