Posted by News Express | 18 June 2015 | 3,467 times
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), in conjunction with relevant industry stakeholders, has held a national summit with a view to finding constructive solutions to the various anomalies bedevilling the sector as well as ensuring greater sanity on our roads.
This is a response to the growing incidence of traffic crashes by haulage vehicles, especially trucks and petroleum tankers; persistent gridlock on Lagos port roads with its attendant mishaps, leading to unquantifiable economic losses,
The objectives of the summit – which embraced the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria Ports Plc, cement manufacturing companies, flour millers, tank farms, and major fleet operators – included ensuring sustained safe haulage of petroleum products, enforcement of minimum safety standards on tanker and trailer operations/sanctions for default, as well as permissible axle load by stakeholders.
After an exhaustive deliberation on the issues raised at the event hosted by the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, with the theme – National Summit on Tanker and Trailer Haulage Operations for National Development – the gathering mapped out a plan of action, which would help checkmate observed anomalies and operational infractions by haulage vehicle operators.
These were captured under four headings, namely: Standards, Enforcement, Institutional safety and Legal.
On standards, they agreed on the need for modern vehicle testing to be introduced in all the states of the federation, so as to ensure sustained technical wellness by operators in order to reduce crashes arising from mechanical deficiency; set age limit for haulage vehicles, and comprehensive welfare package by employers for the motivation of drivers.
On enforcement, the following among other measures were recommended: Establishment of safety standards for haulage operators through enforcement of safe-to-load programme, given Nigeria’s road network density and length, compulsory rest period of 30minutes to be observed after four hours of unbroken driving; decentralisation of the concentration of tank farms within the same location, accessibility in Lagos and shutting down of illegal ones, offending drivers should face the wrath of the law when apprehended; improvement on the state of roads, elimination of illegal location of markets and other road encroachments on the highways, continuous public enlightenment by FRSC at the centres where tankers and trailers load products, ensuring stoppage of indiscriminate parking along the highways, full compliance with the Road Transport Safety Standardization Scheme (RTSSS) provisions, and implementation of the Maximum Road Speed Limiter for Vehicles should commence with subtle enforcement (with no booking) from June 1, 2015 and full compliance effective September 1.
The experts also stressed the need for training and retraining of tanker and trailer drivers to be intensified and sustained.
That, according to them, should be done in conjunction with FRSC, including urgent need for renewal of petroleum tankers and other haulage vehicles through Fleet Acquisition Renewal Scheme in collaboration with financial institutions such as Bank of Industry or the Infrastructure Bank.
The summit expressed an urgent need for life Insurance for all Nigerians for ease of compensation of citizens in case of loss of lives in road crash incidence among other institutional capacity issues.
On the legal involvements, they suggested setting up of the best time for tankers and trailers’ movement, which was considered a necessity, given the high density of vehicles on Nigeria roads and possible havoc of crashes, and prosecution of recalcitrant haulage drivers to be intensified by all law enforcement agencies.
•Photo shows Corps Marshall Boboye Oyeyemi.
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