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FRSC collaborates with military, others for 24-hour Easter operations in the North

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Ahead of Easter celebration, the Federal Road Safety Corps has announcement the commencement of 24-hour operations in some parts of the northern region.

The Zonal Commanding Officer RS4, Assistant Corps Marshal Kayode Olagunju, said the 24-hour operations and observatory would cover critical corridors in the Zone 4 Command, comprising Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states.

“There will also be full activation of the ambulance points as well as road side clinics for rescue and emergency management services,” he stated in the statement issued and signed by the Acting Public Education Officer, Route Commander Olusegun Owoeye, in Jos to herald the commencement in the zone of the nationwide ‘Easter Special Patrol Operation’, adding that the ultimate aim was to ensure sanity and prevention of deaths and injuries on the road during the festive period.

He said the FRSC had approved the deployment of 3,077 patrol personnel including regular and special marshals along the routes and setting up of mobile courts to speedily try traffic offenders.

“The zonal commander has directed strict enforcement of traffic laws which include setting up of mobile courts to try erring traffic offenders.

“The command is to promptly remove broken down vehicles and other forms of obstructions on the highways as well as ensure free flow of traffic through strategic traffic control and management.

“They are to also embark on massive education of motorists and other road users during the period slated between 31 March and 7 April 2021,” the statement said.

He called on nurses, marshals and other paramedics deployed in strategic points to attend to road users with care, render necessary assistance and do their work diligently.

Olagunju also disclosed that the corps would collaborate with the military, other sister security agencies, state traffic agencies, fire service and other stakeholders such as the media and NGOs on emergency rescue services to ensure a successful operation.

The FRSC zonal commander called on all road users and transport fleet operators within the zone to abide by traffic rules and regulations as well as the COVID-19 protocol during the Easter festive period or risk arrest and prosecution.

It stated, “The focus of the operation includes tackling speeding and dangerous driving, overtaking violation, lane indiscipline, route violation, road obstructions, use of phone while driving, overloading, seat belt/child restraint use violations, passengers manifest violation, operation of mechanical deficient and rickety vehicles, latching and twist-locks violation, illegal use of the SPY Number Plates, driving under influence of alcohol and other Intoxicants as well as non adherence to the COVID-19 Protocols,” it stated.

The FRSC said all operational vehicles and other logistics would be fully deployed for maximum impact.

“All arrested violators will be arraigned before the magistrates and they stand the risk of fines payment ranging between N2,000 and N50,000 depending on the nature of the offences and/or imprisonment terms ranging between two and six months as may be decided by the mobile courts,” Olagunju was reported to have said.

He urged road users to comply with the traffic laws, warning that some recalcitrant offenders might spend this Easter festive period behind the bars.

The major corridors in the zone to be covered were listed as the Abuja-Keffi, Gwantu-Jos, Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi, Lafia-Shendam-Langtang-Pankshin-Jos, Jos-Bauchi, Saminaka-Jos, Gboko-Katsina-Ala and Gboko-Aliade, among others.

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Tesla driverless car explodes after crashing into tree

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Two men have died after a Tesla vehicle, which was believed to be operating without anyone in the driver’s seat, crashed into a tree on Saturday night north of Houston, authorities said.

After the fire was extinguished, authorities located two occupants in the vehicle, with one in the front passenger seat and the other in the back seat of the Tesla

The accident came amid growing scrutiny over Tesla’s semi-automated driving system following recent accidents.

The US auto safety agency said in March it had opened 27 investigations into crashes of Tesla vehicles.

“There was no-one in the driver’s seat,” Sergeant Cinthya Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 said.

The 2019 Tesla Model S was travelling at high speed when it failed to negotiate a curve and went off the road, crashing into a tree and bursting into flames, local television station KHOU-TV said.

Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in January that he expected huge profits from the company’s full self-driving software, saying he was “highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year”.

Experts say the self-driving technology must overcome safety and regulatory hurdles to achieve commercial success.

-Reuters

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Mercedes-Benz stuns with another seven-seater crossover SUV

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A few days after Mercedes-Benz revealed what it calls the mother of all electric vehicles in the form of the sophisticated EQS luxury sedan, it has added another stunning product to the Mercedes-EQ family of cars, the EQB.

This is a seven-seater, crossover sport utility vehicle that is to the GLB-class what the EQA is to the GLA.

Car and Driver in a report quotes the premium German automaker as saying the EQB is based on the GLB crossover.

Mercedes-Benz EQ is a series of battery electric vehicles manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. The first model was previewed at the Paris Motor Show in 2016 with the Generation EQ concept vehicle.

The EQB will be launched first in China, where it debuts in a luxuriously equipped all-wheel-drive version with AMG Line styling.

Europe is to have it next in three versions: front- and all-wheel-drive models and a range-optimizing mid-level EQB.

The new vehicle will however not be released to the US market until next year.

While the sheet metal and glass are identical, the styling department under Gorden Wagener has cleaned up the exterior for a more contemporary and sophisticated look.

The front is graced by the trademark EQ headlight/fascia assembly, with a horizontal light bar stretching over the entire width.

This element is reflected on the tail end, which boasts a horizontal light strip as well.

There are EQ-specific colours and wheels, and there will be a choice of regular or AMG-Line front and rear bumpers.

The interior is carried over from the GLB as well, but it comes with EQ-exclusive color and trim options, including rose gold (pictured here), one of Wagener’s favorite colors.

Due to the battery packs in the floor, interior space suffers a bit: Daimler cautions that the third row will only work for people up to 5’5″ and the trunk shrinks considerably.

That said, the EQB is still a crossover SUV that offers more space than usual for its exterior dimensions.

The EQB was unveiled in China, and it will be launched there first as a fully loaded model with a standard AMG Line look, all-wheel drive, and two motors that make a combined 288 horsepower.

Europe will get both the EQB350 4Matic with around 268 horsepower and the front-wheel-drive EQB250 with 221 horsepower; there will also be a mid-level version designed as a long-range model. Both China and Europe will see the EQB at dealers within the 2021 calendar year.

The US will have to wait until 2022, and the company is mum about the possible powertrain options.

Car and Driver says, “What we can deduce from our experience with the EQA is that even the least powerful versions of the EQB will come in at around 4500 pounds, which we hope won’t translate into plodding, cumbersome handling characteristics, even if that would feel a bit less out of place in a people hauler like the EQB than in a compact hatch like the EQA.

“There will be no true AMG version, unlike on the EQS and the EQE. However, we’ll suspend judgment until we can drive it.”

 

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Audi to light up Auto Shanghai with new E-Tron

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Audi has released a first teaser of its new E-Tron sedan ahead of the launch of the lustrous car today April 19 at the 2021 Auto Shanghai.

But it only showed the long front end, though the company is back with a second teaser that reveals much more for the car.

The latest teaser, posted to Audi’s Weibo account, the Facebook-like Chinese social media site, shows the car in profile with dramatic shadows obscuring most of the bodywork. But a little tweaking in Photoshop reveals a bit more of the car’s styling.

One of the first things jumping out is the rear overhang, which looks oddly elongated compared to the front.

Audi will show off the car at Auto Shanghai 2021 on Monday, April 19.

However, while its reveal is imminent, the new sedan isn’t expected to go on sale until the 2023 model year, so it will be a bit before you can buy one.

It should be the first model to ride on the brand’s Premium Platform Electric architecture that Audi jointly developed with Porsche.

The teaser confirms much of what is expected – a sedan similar in size and shape to the Audi A5 Sportback.

However, the new E-Tron does look sleeker than the A5 Sportback, with a lower greenhouse and unique proportions. One can even spot the charging door on the rear quarter panel.

Elections will power the new fastback sedan, though the setup remains unclear. A single-motor model will power the rear wheels, while a dual-motor setup in higher performance trim will power all four.

It should also sport 800-volt charging and offer around 300 miles of range, though that could be less in the US with its strict testing regiment. Inside, people should expect to see a similar design to what’s in the E-Tron GT, though it will be a bit less luxurious as this new E-Tron will likely slot below the GT.

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