Eye glasses on a test chart

The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) and the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), on Friday in Lagos, urged drivers to go for regular eye checks, to minimize road accidents.

The two bodies took a campaign on good eyesight for drivers to Ojota motor park as part of efforts to reduce road accidents ahead of the Ember months.

The Chairman of NOA, Lagos Chapter, Dr John Samssedi, said they decided to collaborate with the FRSC in the campaign as part of their social responsibility to the society, so as save more lives.

Samssedi said that many claimed to be seeing clearly, but unknown to them, were having lots of eye diseases, stressing that only such campaign would help to discover such problems.

“There are lots of conditions that affect a driver’s view; there are many of them that are preventable and many not preventable. For those preventable ones, we call them preventable blindness.

“We want to raise awareness amongst the drivers; we want to do screening and give free drugs. We are not just talking alone. We create the awareness in drivers and motor parks generally.

“They should know there is a need for them to visit their eye care provider, at least once or twice a year.

“Some people believe they can see, therefore, no need for eye check; that is dangerous, that is the essence of this campaign,” he said.

Dr. Samssedi warned the drivers against alcohol and hard drugs, stressing that such substances destroy one’s vision.

“If you must drink, don’t drive. Don’t do drugs, it destroys the eye and other organs of the body.

“There is a need to carry out the kind of test done on drivers in developed world in Nigeria; it will reduce accidents. If you are underage, don’t drive,” he said.

Samssedi said the campaign would also help to collect data of drivers with eye diseases, stressing that the association would advise the government on their findings and the possible way to check road accidents.

He said those with serious problems would be referred for proper screening, with a view to knowing the best glasses for them.

The Transport Organisation Officer of FRSC, Lagos State command, Mr. Godwin Umweni, said the campaign was part of the Corps’ efforts to reduce road carnage.

Umweni said a driver’s view was very important in the transport business, and anyone with eye deficiency would not be issued driver’s license.

He also called on motorists to always go for eye check.

“It is our responsibility to ensure drivers take passengers to their destinations safely, that is the essence of this campaign with Nigerian Optometric Association, Lagos Chapter,” Umweni said.

An official of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), New Garage Ojota, who spoke anonymously, described the campaign as laudable and praised the organizers.

No fewer than 100 persons were screened, while free drugs were given to some drivers and market women trading at New Garage Motor Park at Ojota.