The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has reiterated need for dedicated lanes and routes for cyclists across the country to ensure their safety.
The FRSC Sector Commander for Lagos State Command, Olusegun Ogungbemide , made the call on Thursday when he welcomed some Lagos State Cyclists who visited his office during a 60km ride across Lagos as part of activities to mark the 2021 World Bicycle Day.
World Bicycle Day is celebrated every year on June 3 as a United Nations designated day.
The theme for 2021 World Bicycle Day was : “Ride Against COVID-19’’.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), safe infrastructure for walking and cycling is also a pathway for achieving greater health equity.
Ogungbemide, in his address, said that the corps was working with relevant government agencies to ensure that more dedicated routes for cyclists were designed alongside road projects.
“I am excited because we are now having younger people taking to riding bicycles because it is a big challenge to ride on our roads.
“We are excited to be part of this project in providing safeway for the cyclists to ride because they are also part of the means of transportation we are created to protect.
“Cyclists are most exposed to the risk and we are concerned about their safety as well; this is because pedestrians can still protect themselves by using the walkways, but riders have no dedicated routes.
“We have been engaging various agencies responsible for the construction of roads to key in to the new norms of providing routes for bicycles in the design of new roads, even the existing ones can be adjusted.’’
According to Ogungbemide, cycling is one of the safest means of transportation; hence it should be encouraged for its many advantages.
“Cycling is one of the safest and cheapest means of transportation. Cyclists must be well protected. I am sure that more dedicated lanes will be put in place in the near future.
“Bicycles are safe, human and environmentally friendly because they don’t emit carbon into the air thereby depleting the ecosystem. Cycling is also cheap because it does not consume fuel.
“I will herewith advise our riders to be more safety conscious on the roads because of reckless drivers that may overrun them. Cyclists should ensure that they take to all the safety precautions.
“The riders must ensure that they do not plug their ears with hands free or make calls while riding on the highways, streets or anywhere they find themselves,’’ he said.
The Technician for the race, Kate Oyewole, said: “The main purpose of this race is to sensitise the public on the health and other benefits of being a cyclist.
“The list is endless because cycling provides health rejuvenation for the riders.
“We thank the government because even during the COVID-19 lockdown, cycling was among those sports permitted to operate because of the health benefits.
“Many people are beginning to see the benefits of cycling and taking it as a hobby. We now have various cycling teams that do ride across the state during weekends,” she said.
Another cyclist, Olusanya Jegede told NAN that he joined the cycling team because of its health benefits.
“I took to cycling recently because of its health benefits. I was formerly a footballer, but after I sustained injury on my leg, I took to cycling which has been highly beneficial.
“I might not be able to compete, but I hope to stay cycling for a long time to come because I am enjoying it,’’ he said.