Motorists Must Install Speed Limiter in Vehicles by September

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Boboye Oyeyemi

Participants at a summit to tackle challenges of haulage operations in Nigeria recommend September 1, as deadline for motorists to install speed limiters in their vehicles failure of which will attract sanction by the Federal Road Safety Corps

|  By Maureen Chigbo  |  June 17, 2015 @ 9.00 GMT  |

MOTORISTS who fail to install speed limiters in their vehicle will soon be booked by the Federal Road Safety Corps. FRSC, if the recommendation of participants at a summit to tackle the challenges of haulage operations in Nigeria is implemented. Among other measures the summit recommended the implementation of the maximum road speed limiter for vehicles to commence with subtle enforcement (with no booking) from June 1, 2015, and full compliance effective September 1, 2015.

The summit came on the heels of the recent spate of crashes involving petroleum tankers in parts of the country and the need to stabilise the situation towards ensuring safer road environment. It was organised by the Federal Road Safety Corps to tackle the challenges of haulage operations in Nigeria on Monday, June 15, in Abuja. Haulage operators, executive and members of road transport unions, experts on road transportation safety as well as stakeholders from the various road transportation groups in the country attended the summit.

During the summit, participants observed the high rate of tankers and trailers’ crashes in the nation is worrisome and should be checked; that more attention is required to be focused on vehicles technical wellness/characteristics by fleet operators; loading authorization and permit – Safe-to load policy adherence are required to be implemented. They also observed that training  and retraining of tankers and trailers drivers need to be intensified and sustained and that there should be appropriate licensing of drivers and medical fitness should be done on them among other things

The participants mapped out a plan involving standards, enforcement, institutional capacity and legal actions to address the problems. They resolved that more attention was required to be focused on vehicles’ technical wellness/characteristics by haulage operators to ensure reduction in crashes arising from mechanical deficiency. There is also the need for modern vehicle testing to be introduced in all states of the federation to ensure sustained vehicle technical wellness; need to establish age limit for trucks to be used for haulage purposes; need for comprehensive welfare package for haulage drivers by their employers in other to motivate them and the implementation of standardized speed limiters installation in all newly manufactured vehicles in Nigeria

The summit is a continuation of the FRSC ongoing consultation and collaboration with the various road transport unions in the country in the collective efforts to make the nation’s roads  safer for all. According to the Corps marshal of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, although FRSC has always been engaging the stakeholders in matters of road safety, the unfortunate incidents of last two weeks when the nation witnessed fatal crashes involving petroleum tankers in Anambra and Lagos states with loss of many lives and destruction of valuable property, made it imperative that advocacy programme be urgently stepped up to address the menace.

“When we saw early signs of increased rate of road fatalities after concluding our end of year special patrol for last year, the FRSC management raised an alarm. As part of the strategies we put in place on how to avert re-occurrence, was the involvement of the leadership of the road transport unions in the advocacy programmes.

“In the course of my visits to them, therefore, we resolved to organise mega rallies across the country to sensitise the drivers and members of the public on issues of road safety,” he stated.

Prior to the summit, Oyeyemi had said in a press release made available to Realnews that  the maiden edition of the sensitisation programme was held in Ojota Motor Park, Lagos on April 30, while subsequent ones were held in Abeokuta and Kaduna, respectively. “Our plans were to stage the rallies across the country. But the sudden rinse in petroleum tanker crashes made it imperative that we urgently bring all stakeholders together to brainstorm on the menace, with a view to finding common and enforceable solutions,” he further stated.

While expressing dismay at the two incidents he described as “unfortunate,” the Corps Marshal stated that FRSC in collaboration with the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO,  Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, as well as Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, and the rest had earlier mapped out strategies on how to deal with the menace of road traffic crashes in the country. He added that the summit was packaged to deal with the current challenges of haulage operations and mapping out strategies on how to counter the challenges of perennial tanker crashes.

The Corps Marshal pointed out that the basic idea behind the summit was to create platform for road transport stakeholders to exchange views on the current crash situations in the country and proffer solutions to them. The summit particularly dealt with how to transport petroleum products most safely across the country in the absence of alternative means of transportation,” he stated. It would also look at issues of monitoring, checking and enforcing safety standards on tankers and trailers as well as how to sustain collaboration with relevant stakeholders on issues of public sensitisation and ensuring minimum safety standards in articulated vehicles.

Participants looked at issues of training and retraining of drivers, especially those of articulated vehicles and need to observe due process in the acquisition of driver’s licence, review the challenges of underage driving and prosecution of erring drivers to serve as deterrence to others.

Oyeyemi expressed optimism that with the active participation of relevant stakeholders in the summit, coupled with the anticipated public awareness that would be created, the federal government will be interested in the resolutions that would come and would act promptly on them. “I have no doubt that the Federal Government will act promptly on the resolutions reached at the end of the summit, because it is interested in restoring safety and public confidence in haulage operations in the country,” he further stated.

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