Lagos - The Lagos State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Hyginus Omeje, on Monday warned motorists to desist from driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or hard drugs.
Umeh said that most of the accidents on the highways were as a result of reckless driving by motorists, especially those who have taken alcohol or hard drugs, before setting out.
He said that the FRSC would have to tackle the menace through the relevant agencies, so that the situation could be addressed from source, to ensure a drastic reduction in accident rates, especially during festive periods.
"I do know that there has always been a law as regards the sale of alcohol; what we are trying to do is like retreating an existing law, not as if it is a new law altogether.
"Now, we are only giving it a bite, because of recent happenings in the country that are now giving everybody some concern.
"I think it is a step in the right direction to reinvigorate action in that direction.
"For the FRSC, we have always campaigned against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; once you can remove the source, then you have started tackling it properly," Umeje said.
According to him, if the supply of alcohol is being tackled and banned at various parks, then the drivers will learn to drive normally and not under the influence of alcohol.
He added that the relevant agency would go a step further by enforcing the ban on people who also hawk alcohol on the streets of Lagos.
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"If you look at various streets in Lagos today, you will realise that alcoholic beverages are being openly hawked. That will also be addressed.
"If anybody is seen hawking alcohol, he or she would be picked up.
"If you just chase hawkers of alcoholic beverages away from the motor parks and you allow them on the streets, it will become easier for their customers to buy and just zoom off."
The FRSC Lagos boss also said that the reduction in the sale of alcoholic beverages would also go a long way in reducing reckless driving amongst drivers of articulated vehicles in the country.
"This is a step in the right direction and I think it will go a long way to address the menace we are having today with some of the articulated vehicle drivers who we reasonably suspect may sometimes be under the influence of alcohol or some illicit drugs."
Jamiu Adeyemo, a passenger at the Ojota motor park, said that the sale of alcohol had become so rampant that most commercial drivers are able to get something to drink, anywhere they get to, as they travel.
"Even in the early hours of the day, you will see hawkers of alcoholic beverages at the motor parks, to the extent that some drivers get drunk before embarking on their journeys.
"A lot of them end up having serious accidents on the highway because they are either sleeping or on speed," Adeyemo said.
Olalekan Kukoyi, a passenger returning to Ibadan after the Eid-el-Fitri, said that hawkers of alcoholic beverages also constituted a nuisance at the parks.
"Most of the hawkers do not have any permanent places of abode, hence they are always at the motor parks on a round-the-clock basis.
"I think if the sale is banned, it will reduce the number of accidents on the highways, as most commercial drivers now drive only under the influence of alcohol or drugs," Kukoyi added.