By Ifeyinwa Obi
AS the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, kick-starts implementation of the Minimum Safety Standard for Trucks in Nigeria today, FRSC Corps Marshal, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, has disclosed that over 1,000 people have so far lost their lives between December 2016 and January 2017 as a result of auto crashes caused by tanker drivers.
He also said that about 308 auto crashes have been recorded between December 2016 and January 2017 due to recklessness of truck and tanker drivers. In most of the accidents, he said, the vehicles are usually written off while goods are lost.
Oyeyemi stated these in Apapa, Lagos, yesterday, at a one-day sensitisation workshop for truck drivers on the minimum safety standard for trucks at the secretariat of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners, AMARTO.
Represented by Deputy Corps Marshal, Operations, Mrs Ojeme Ewhrudjakpor, Oyeyemi said the implementation of the scheme is to improve on the minimum standards already established by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.
This articulated truck plunged off the Soka Bridge along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Sunday. Photo: Dare Fasube.
He charged truck owners to ensure compliance with the minimum standard for trucks, which includes installing speed limit devices, ensuring that containers are properly latched, proper functioning of head lights, tail lights and other parts of the trucks.
He assured that engagement with operators will continue even as implementation is being carried out.
Also speaking, President of Corporate Fleet Owners Association, Mrs Folake George, assured that truck owners are ready to comply with the safety standards by FRSC and NPA.
She, however, lamented the duplication of transport regulatory agencies and high cost of maintenance, which make truck owners to constantly run at a loss.
Mrs George also lamented that container truck owners are over-taxed compared to their contemporaries in the petroleum tanker business, who are given preferential treatments.