Kogi Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on Thursday organised a free eye test to diagnose and correct possible visual impairments among commercial drivers in the state.
Mr Olusegun Martins, FRSC state Sector Commander, said at the Ibro Park, New Market venue of the exercise in Lokoja, that it was organised in collaboration with the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA).
Martins said the nationwide exercise was part of measures by the commission to create public enlightenment and awareness on the need for drivers to know their visual status and thereby check highway auto crashes.
He said vision was very important in driving as the driver was expected to clearly see at least six metres ahead on motion.
“If they undergo the tests and follow the instructions properly, their eye defects, if any, will be corrected.
“The exercise is being test-run. We are still going round and with time, it will be extended to other parks bit-by-bit and in batches,” he said.
Leading a team of doctors, NOA State Chairman, Dr Temple Nwosu, said that the watchword of the exercise was, ‘Awareness.’
He said every decision made behind the wheels was a function of how well the eyes could see and there were so many diseases that could affect vision.
“Some of those notorious diseases are asymptomatic (they do not present symptoms), meaning that you can have them without knowing you have them; like glaucoma which destroys the optic nerves, diabetes and cataracts.
“Most of the things that cause accidents are functions of decision of vision.
“That is why we are here to create the awareness and inform the people on the need for good vision,” he said.
Mr Augustine Omeiza, State Secretary, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Ibro Park, commended the FRSC for having the safety of the drivers and passengers at heart.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the exercise, one of the beneficiaries, Abdullahi Salau, said, “It is a very wonderful programme. We really appreciate the FRSC for this.”
Aliyu Isah, a driver, also commended the initiative by FRSC and NOA.
“Some of our drivers are not seeing well, but because of the money involved in going to hospital for checks, we cannot go,” he said.