Concerned with spate of road traffic crashes involving tankers and trailers in the country, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi has called stakeholders’ meeting where members resolved to support the Corps in its initiatives for prevention of the menace. This was the outcome of the meeting held over the weekend at the FRSC National Headquarters Abuja where relevant stakeholders in transportation were in attendance.
According to Bisi Kazeem, Corps Public Education Officer, FRSC Oyeyemi in his presentation which was laced with data on fatal crashes involving tankers and trailers that occurred across the country last year with frightening loses, the Corps Marshal described the situation as “worrisome,” saying urgent steps must be taken to address the scourge. He noted that aside the economic loses resulting from the crashes, the level of destruction to human lives is enormous and unacceptable, calling on the stakeholders to come together to jointly adopt preventive measures.
The Corps Marshal gave instances of the economic loss to the nation where a single trailer is lost to a crash, not to talk of when multitudes are recorded in a year as was experienced last year. He expressed dismay at the situation where despite the inauguration of inter- ministerial committee on tanker/trailer crashes by the federal government, the rate of crashes has not abated, saying stakeholders must rededicate themselves to preventive measures.
He further noted that with the numbers and level of destruction caused by tankers/trailer crashes last year, the losses attributed to the menace was estimated to about thirty nine billion naira (N39 billion). This he said is unacceptable and must be curtailed by all means possible. He thanked the stakeholders for always responding to the meeting with personal presence of the leadership each time they were called.
In their separate remarks, the Chairmen of Drivers’ Division of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (PTD-NUPENG), Salmon Oladiti; National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Najeem Usman Yasin; National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Ibrahim Bataiya and representative of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) were unanimous in their condemnation of the rising cases of road crashes involving tankers and trailers. They therefore expressed commitment to working with the FRSC to address the menace.
While NUPENG-PTD Chairman disclosed that about 75% of the crashes involving tankers and trailers occurred in the night, he canvassed the need for sustained efforts on training and retraining programmes which the Union in conjunction with the FRSC commenced last year. The NURTW Chairman on his own part vowed to discourage non licensed drivers from being members of the Union and stressed the need for strict enforcement strategies to discourage quacks in the profession.
The representative of RTEAN Chairman on the other hands assured that his Union would work closely with the Corps on the modalities for preventing the crashes, adding that the Association discourages its members from operating in the night. Furthermore, NARTO Chairman called for more stringent punishment to drivers whose vehicles kill people to serve as deterrence to others. He further stressed the need to involve more stakeholders especially from the ministries of transportation, works and justice for collective responsibility in the campaign.
Collectively, the stakeholders resolved on the need for more trainings for drivers; periodic testing of the drivers against drugs and alcoholic drinks to guide against alcoholism and drug addict, compulsory use of safety valves by tanker drivers to guide against fuel spillage in the event of a crash. It was also resolved that Corps Marshal should meet with the Honourable Minister of Works, Power and Housing to emphasise the need to revitalize weighbridges across the country and introduce Toll-gates/fees, proceeds of which could be used for prompt road repairs and above all, FRSC should step up enforcement to bring recalcitrant drivers to other
Stakeholders commended the Corps Marshal for the leadership he has shown in managing the affairs of the FRSC and leading stakeholders to creating safer road environment through public awareness and partnership initiatives.