Following recent accidents involving heavy duty vehicles in the country, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has summoned stakeholders in the haulage industry to a national summit in Abuja.
The meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, June 15, 2015 at the Shehu Musa Y’ardua Centre, Abuja by 9am.
A statement issued by the Corps Commander, Corps Public Education Officer, Imoh Etuk, disclosed that the summit is to address the menace of articulated vehicles on the nation’s highways.
Etuk quoted the FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, in the statement that, “Since 2007 when our findings showed that articulated vehicles accounted for 40% of road traffic crashes, we have not relented in our efforts to reverse this unacceptable trend.
“We have scaled up our engagement plans with stakeholders in the haulage industry and set out minimum safety standards for the conveyance of wet and dry cargoes to any part of the country, in line with the provisions of the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2012.”
The Corps’ image-maker disclosed further that FRSC is “worried over the recent crashes involving these operators which resulted to monumental loss of human resources and attendant negative impact of the nation’s socio-economic growth” and explained that this is the main reason “the summit is coming up to complement other numerous programmes which the Corps has organized with haulage operators to reduce these avoidable road crashes.”
Oyeyemi said a lead “agency in road traffic administration, we have also conducted a study on the 44 Tank farms and their locations, with the hope of coming up with policies backed up with stronger legal frame work to checkmate the excesses of Tanker drivers in addition to strategies for safer road use. This will form part of the meeting with haulage operators.”
He explained that the Corps has partnered with the Petroleum Tanker Drivers branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG-PTD, to educate the drivers “against reckless driving and disregard for road traffic regulations, retraining of drivers, solicit for government support on fleet renewals, alcohol and drug testing for all tanker drivers at the loading bay by officers of the FRSC and establishment of resting points for these checks.”
He said part of this is to “enforce the inspection of all Trucks for speed limiters with effect from 1st September 2015, before loading petroleum products from any of the depots across Nigeria, in addition to ensuring road worthiness of vehicles (Trucks) under a safe- to- load programme in all depots.”
Tanker accidents in Onitsha and Lagos in 2015 claimed over 60 lives, burning down several houses, shops, vehicles and other properties worth millions of Naira within two weeks.