This study was carried out to assess the magnitude and nature of the drink-drive problem in Nigeria and evaluate the institutional capacities for preventing drinking and driving, using the methodology developed by the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) described in the overview article in this issue (Johnson 2012).
Data and information were collected using existing reports and by consulting officials and experts from a number of key agencies.
In 2008, 9572 people died in road crashes according to police statistics. However, according to World Health Organization statistical modeling, this figure is likely to be much higher, with deaths ranging from 34,000 to 78,000 in 2007 and a mortality rate of 32.3 percent. Not only is it likely that the police data underestimate the road crash problem but it was also found that the data from the police and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) were inadequate for estimating the extent of the drink-drive problem mainly because of the lack of alcohol testing equipment. One research study highlighted the problem of drivers of commercial vehicles; 67.2 percent of drivers admitting to drinking alcohol during the working day. Nigeria sets a legal limit of 0.05 g/100 mL blood alcohol concentration (BAC), but enforcement of the law is weak because alcohol testing equipment is unavailable. The FRSC is a federal agency dedicated to improving road safety and the clear lead agency in Nigeria. It runs publicity campaigns against drinking and driving with private sector support, especially toward the end of the year when there is increased vehicular traffic due to people travelling to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays, but these have not been evaluated. However, its combined enforcement and public education roles give it considerable potential for tackling the drink-drive problem in the future.
This study recommended that priority should be given to strengthening the road crash and injury database and drink-drive enforcement, especially for drivers of commercial vehicles, and that the opportunities provided by the World Bank project supporting safe road corridors should be maximized.
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