No fewer than 263 commercial drivers in Enugu have benefited from free eye test conducted by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to ascertain the state of their sights while driving.
According to reports by newsmen, the commercial drivers, who were drawn from various motor-park unions in Enugu, were also given lectures on eye care and the need to avoid stimulants that blurs vision.
Addressing the drivers at Peace Mass Transit Park, Enugu, the FRSC Sector Commander in Enugu State, Mr Imoh Etuk, said the initiative was in line with the directive from the corps’ headquarters to ensure an accident free Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
Etuk further explained that there was a need to conduct free eye test and treatment to reduce road accidents this festive season and thereafter.
“We are conducting eye test for drivers because it has come to our knowledge that bad eye sight also contributes to most road crashes on our roads.
“Some drivers drive under the illusion of having good sight but the result of this eye test had further proved us right that most drivers are suffering one eye defect or the other.
“We have noted those with eye defects and as part of our mandate, we will ensure that that the affected drivers do not drive until they undergo the necessary treatment.
“Glasses as well as further treatments recommended by the optometrists on ground in line with the nature of the eye defect will be given to the tested drivers with eye defect,’’ he said.
The sector commander thanked the Nigerian Optometric Association, Enugu State Chapter (NOAESC), for buying into FRSC’s vision of ensuring zero tolerance for road accidents, saying “the exercise is a continuous one that will take place from time to time.’’
Etuk, however, advised drivers to embark eye test from time to time, avoid taking alcohol before and while driving as well as avoid buying fairly used tyres for their vehicles.
Earlier, the Chairman of NOAESC, Dr Emmanuel Asogwa, said the association had partnered with FRSC to organise a free eye examination and further treatment for both commercial and private drivers in the state.
Asogwa said the comprehensive screening programme aimed at determining the visual acuity, coverage level and the colour perception of drivers so as to reduce accidents.
“Greater numbers of the tested drivers have been found to have colour blindness, short sight, cataract and some only see well with one eye.
“Having detected these defects, we will make recommendations and direct affected drivers to a specialised clinic for further treatment.
“If these eye defects are not detected and treated early enough, it will result into more serious eye problems and most importantly, accidents,’’ he said.
A beneficiary of the free eye test, Mr Paul Okechukwu, said he stopped driving for three months because his sight had deteriorated so badly and he had no money to go for check-up and treatment.
Okechukwu said the initiative of the FRSC and NOAESC will afford him the opportunity to correct his bad vision and go back to work and fend for his family.
Another beneficiary, Mr Eze Abugu, said before the test, he thought he had a good sight because he can see some objects few metres away; but the test had proved otherwise.