The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has advised Nigerians to imbibe the culture of riding bicycles to reduce carbon-monoxide emission and traffic congestion.
The Sector Commander of the corps, Enugu State Command, Mr Joseph Toby, made the call on Friday, June 3, 2022, while declaring open a five-kilometre cycling within Enugu metropolis to commemorate this year’s World Bicycle Day.
Toby said that bicycle riding totally eliminates carbon-monoxide emission into the atmosphere.
“This reduces the greenhouse effect and promotes the Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 13.
According to him, riding bicycles also helps to reduce road crashes and enhances the realisation of FRSC 2022 Strategic Goal (Goal 1), which is to accomplish 15 per cent reduction in Road Traffic Crash fatality.
“Bicycle is affordable, reliable and simple to use.
“It reduces the cost of maintaining city roads and ensures cleaner cities,” the FRSC boss said.
He further said that the command would continue to incorporate the use of bicycles as the best alternative to carbon-monoxide-laden automobiles in its outreach, education and awareness.
“Today, the world is faced with the challenges of global warming, environmental degradation and pollution as well as increase in poor health conditions.
“These are as a result of traffic congestion and its attendant carbon-monoxide emission and sedentary lifestyles.
“It has become imperative that we adopt the option of Non-Motorized Transportation to heal the earth and improve the health of all humans.
“The command will continue to carryout sensitisation and education along this line,” Toby said.
The five-kilometre bicycle ride, which involved officers, special marshals and regular marshals of the command, took-off from the command’s headquarters on Works Road, Enugu.
The cyclists rode through Enugu-Abakaliki Road and Ebeano Tunnel down to Ogui Road, terminating at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.
They also made their way back to their take-off point through the same route.
The World Bicycle Day, which is commemorated every June 3, as provided by the United Nations, helps to create awareness on the importance of bicycle-riding to mobility, human health and enhancing friendly relationships among road users worldwide.
Similarly, the Bayelsa State Command of the FRSC has advised Nigerians to readopt the use of bicycle as a means of transportation because of its benefits.
The Bayelsa Sector Commander, Mr Ibrahim Usman, gave the advice during the awareness ride to commemorate the third World Bicycle Day in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Friday, June 3.
Represented by Mrs Mirian Benemesegha, Deputy Corps Commander, Usman said that bicycle transport was cheaper and healthy for physical wellbeing of the body.
Usman led a team of cyclists comprising officers of the Corps, government officials and professionals during the awareness ride.
He said it was time to re-adopt the transportation system that had assisted human civilisation for ages.
According to him, apart from being cheaper than vehicles to acquire, bicycle is cheap to maintain and healthier for physical wellbeing of man and his environment.
Usman said it was due to the overwhelming benefits of the bicycle that the United Nations met in 2017 and declared June 3 of every year as the World Bicycle Day.
“Advanced countries have readopted bicycle transportation system as a matter of public health wellbeing and control of greenhouse effects of carbon emissions.
“We want our people to come back to the basics, cycling is good for the body, environment and it is economical to maintain.
“That is why we are raising the awareness again and calling on the Bayelsa Government to join us in this campaign to revive the culture of using bicycle as a means of transportation,’’ he said.
Mrs Grace Ayakpo, the State Commissioner for Transport, represented by Mr Abigini Ndiomu, an Assistant Director in the ministry, commended the efforts of the corps at ensuring road safety in the state.
Ayakpo said the initiative of the FRSC to revive the use of bicycle was a “noble one”, adding that the state government would do everything necessary to make it succeed.
Ayakpo described cycling as “one of the earliest means of transportation”.
Mr Solomon Ebite, a member, Association of Bicycle Riders, said that cycling helped in the free flow of blood to the heart to aid good function.
He added that it strengthened the lungs and the muscles while inhaling of good air help to improve posture.
Ebite also said that cycling helped the stamina in the body, as peddling reduce arthritis in various joints and all parts of the body.
In a related development, the Oyo State Command of the FRSC on Friday called on Nigerians to embrace the use of bicycle to reduce crashes and number of vehicles plying the roads.
The state Sector Commander, Corps Commander, Joshua Adekanye, gave the advice during the celebration of 2022 World Bicycle Day in Ibadan, the state capital.
The celebration, in partnership with the Lapet Feats International and the Oyo State Sports Council, has as its theme; ”Cycling for Health and Humanity”.
Adekanye said that bicycle, being a non-motorised means of transportation, has many other advantages which include non-emission of dangerous sustenance to the atmosphere, fitness of the body and cost effective.
The sector commander said that most Nigerians despise those riding bicycle because they are unaware of its benefits to health and the society.
He called on the Federal, State and Local Governments to create tracks for bicycle whenever they are constructing roads.
According to him, most roads in Nigeria don’t have bicycle road tracks.
“If we all embrace the idea of cycling, it will reduce the rate of fuel consumption, safe cost, reduce road crashes and keep fit,” he said.
The General Manager, Oyo State Sports Council, Mr Gboyega Makinde, said that the state is doing well in cycling as no fewer than seven professional cyclists represented Nigeria in international sports competition.
Makinde called on parents to encourage their children in cycling to have more representatives from Nigeria in international sports.
He noted that students could combine the sport with education.
Also, the Chief Executive Officer, Lapet Feats International, Mr Olawale Samson, said that the organisation decided to organise the 25-km Ibadan Cycling Tour in order to promote cycling and other sporting events.
Samson said that cycling promotes good health, longevity and fitness.
The highlight of the day was riding of bicycle by professional cyclists to some major areas within Ibadan metropolis.
By Stanley Nwanosike, Shedrack Frank and Suleiman Shehu