By Ushang Ewa
The ratio of accidents will reduce drastically if drivers get their eyes checked regularly says the Cross River State chapter chairman of the Nigeria Optometric Association, Dr. Kelechi Ahaiwe Thursday in Calabar during an event to mark the 2016 World Sight Day.
Kelechi pointed out that a lot of accidents occurring on the roads were preventable and unnecessary lives lost due to eye defects, hence the need for an increase in the awareness of vision which he told Hit FM is “Body’s window to the world.”
He said about 59 percent of accidents can be linked to issues concerning vision as over 90 percent of decisions made behind the wheel depends on good vision.
The Director General of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu who flagged off a city walk to commemorate the event, said that the current administration was evolving new strategies to get more Cross Riverians to be conscious of their eyes.
She called on drivers especially to always visit an optometrist at least once a year as the state government is out to ensure the drastic reduction in preventable accidents.
Most of the drivers attitude towards eye health which has endangered their lives and those of the passengers is due to lack of awareness which the event aims at correcting Betta said.
Also, the Public Relations Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Festus Ndimele said an eye test certificate was part of the requirements for the issuance of a commercial driving license and warned drivers to comply or face the full wrath of the law.
He pointed out that when people drive with less than the standard minimum requirement for safety driving, the lives of the driver and passengers are at risk which he said is an offence punishable by law.
Comrade Ubong Johnson who spoke on behalf of the drivers lauded the efforts of the optometric association and state government towards their health and pledged the drivers willingness to cooperate in a bid to ensure safety on the road.
Over 1,500 people were tested with about 400 glasses given out. A vision corridor was also donated by the Optometric association for self test.
The world sight day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday of October and seeks to create awareness on the need to care for the eyes.
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