Posted by News Express | 6 August 2015 | 4,587 times
The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi, has expressed dismay over the spate of crashes involving tankers and trailers, calling on stakeholders to join hands in the collective efforts to reverse the trend.
Oyeyemi was speaking yesterday while declaring open the maiden edition of the annual recertification and retraining programme organised for tanker/trailer drivers at Orile Iganmu, Lagos.
According to him, the activities of Tanker/Trailer drivers across the country have increasingly attained an unenviable status and become a source of concern to all road safety stakeholders in the country, stating that available statistics indicate that between March and July this year alone, over 120 lives have been lost with more people sustaining various degrees of injuries while valuable property were lost to the inferno, following the spate of Road Traffic Crashes involving Tankers/Trailers.
"It is on record that since 2012, Tankers/Trailers have accounted for over 22% of the total vehicles involved in crashes across the country."
"This development is particularly worrisome considering the fact that sizeable percentage of the victims of these crashes fall within the productive age bracket of the national population, which portends great economic implications to the country.
“The situation even becomes more frightening, if one considers the likely increase, if urgent steps are not taken to reverse the trend,” he said,
Oyeyemi also described the training programme as one of the practical steps that FRSC as the lead agency for road safety management and administration in the country is taking to address the challenges in order to bring the situation under control, saying that the intervention strategy was fashioned out to particularly curtail the menace which Tankers/Trailer drivers have brought to the nation in recent time.
"It is therefore expected that this retraining programme would complement the intensive Patrols, strict enforcement of traffic regulations as well as robust public enlightenment programmes being pursued to bring the situation under normalcy."
Speaking on the focus of the training, the corps marshal disclosed that specialised knowledge on driving tankers and trucks would be provided to the drivers to ensure that from the point of loading their goods, including petroleum products to the point of delivery, they observe international best practice in traffic safety to guarantee safety of lives and property of all road users.
In addition, he said, there is the need for tanker/trailer drivers to adequately manage their health conditions and guide against all forms of health hazards such as high blood pressure, poor eye sight, diabetic, etc which are often associated with fatal road crashes.
"Furthermore, as part of the multi-dimensional measures being put in place by the FRSC towards addressing the menace of road traffic crashes induced by speed violation, the stakeholders, after exhaustive deliberation and due consultation came up with the resolution on the introduction of the use of speed limiting device in vehicles.
"This consensus was informed by the fact that speed related crashes account for about 50.8 percent of road traffic crashes in the country."
Oyeyemi reminded the truck drivers that with effect from 1st September this year, enforcement of use of speed limiters in vehicle would commence on commercial vehicle operators to ensure that every commercial vehicle operating on the nation's highways is fitted with the speed limiting device. "Let me restate that the enforcement of the regulation would be vigorous, total and non-compromising. It is our belief that with the use of speed limiting device, cases of speed related crashes in the country would be reduced drastically."
Also speaking, the National Chairman of the Petroleum Tanker Branch of NUPENG, Commrade Salmon Akanni Oladiti, expressed appreciation to the FRSC for the enormous support it has continued to give to the union in pursuing its safety campaign, particularly for making the retraining programme for tanker and trailer drivers a reality, saying that the presence of the Corps Marshal at the opening ceremony lends credence to the concern which the Corps has for road users. He stressed that the union will continue to work with the FRSC in finding lasting solutions to the menace of tanker/trailer crashes in the country.
"We sincerely appreciate the support of the Federal Road Safety Commission for the technical support it has given to us towards this training programme and the wonderful working relationship that has been enduring between us.
"We salute the FRSC for the invaluable national services they are rendering in minimizing the rate of carnage on our highways, including the recently held National Summit on haulage operations in Nigeria, where all stakeholders including the Armed Forces brainstormed and offered practical and comprehensive suggestions/solutions to the challenges of haulage operations in Nigeria.
“We are gathered here today to commence the execution of one of the critical outcomes of that National Summit,” he said.
Both the NUPENG President, Comrade Igwe Achese and the National President of NARTO, Alhaji Kassim Bataiya who spoke at the ceremony were unanimous in their commendation for the FRSC for its initiatives on the training programme.
They expressed the readiness of their unions to support the programme to make it a huge success.
The two union leaders also called on the tanker and trailer drivers to see road safety as a collective responsibility of all stakeholders, emphasising that every road user has a right to the use of the road.
The two-week training programme is expected to move from Orile in Lagos to Ogere, Eiye, Nkorin in Ogun State to Taffa and Maraba Jos in Kaduna State. It would also be held in Calabar, Port Harcourt, Lukpanta, Warri, Ogharra before ending in Benin, Edo State.
•Photo shows Corps Marshal Oyeyemi in a group photograph with participants in the the maiden edition of the annual recertification and retraining programme organised for tanker/trailer drivers . . . yesterday in Lagos.
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