By; IBRAHIM ADAMU, Kaduna
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Corp Marshal Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, on thursday has said that tanker owners may have lost 3.2 billion Naira to 62 road crashes involving 65 tankers in the first quarter of 2017, in addition to several lost of innocent lives.
Dr Oyeyemi disclosed this in his speech to declare open the occasion of the National Executive Council/State Chairmen Joint meeting of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) in Kaduna, ascribed the road crashes to activities of reckless drivers, over speeding and the use of motor boys in most cases and night driving.
Meanwhile, NARTO National President, Alhaji Kassim Bataiya who noted with dismay, the spate of road crashes, said the association has concluded arrangements to train 1,000 drivers soon.
The FRSC Corps Marshal lamented that most of the crashes occurred in the night as most of the tanker drivers now in an attempt to avoid the personnel of the FRSC choose to engage mostly in driving at nights.
While calling on NARTO to protect their investment by checkmating the activities of reckless drivers, particularly motor boys who have become drivers overnight, he also warned against overloading, particularly carriage of fire woods and cows on tankers, saying it has become so embarrassing carrying human beings along with animals.
He however commended the federal government for the Kaduna-Abuja railway lines, which he said has reduced much pressure on the roads by vehicles and equally lauded the government for the nation wide rehabilitation of major highways, even though he noted that, it is when the roads are smooth that drivers usually increase their speed.
Dr Oyeyemi also disclosed that the Corps have conducted training, re-training as well as re-certification. Of tanker/trailer (truck) drivers programs in nine designated centres nationwide.
He also informed that full implementation of the law on the use of speed limiters has commenced in earnest on the 1st February, 2017 following the Presidential directives and expressed hope that commercial drivers who are yet to install the device in their vehicles do so without delay to save the nation from avoidable menace of speed- induced crashes which account for significant percentage of acusal factors of fatal crash cases that have been recorded in the last two years.
“As you commence deliberation, let me also urge you to address acts of indiscipline being perpetrated by truck drivers especially in lane discipline, axle load violation and violation to use retro-reflective tapes for. Proper illumination of their vehicles as well as indiscriminate/ illegal parking”.
Earlier, National President of NARTO, Alhaji Kassim Bataiya while acknowledging the spate of road crashes, disclosed that, the association is planning a training program for 1,000 drivers in addition to the one organized by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD).
He lamented perennial road accident often caused by tanker drivers on the highways, just as he called on the officials of the FRSC to work hard to ensure accident free roads.
Bataiya also decried some government policies which he said were affecting their members and transportation business in the country.
The NARTO boss called on the federal government to review the act that established the FRSC in order to accommodate activities of the association, adding that the association will appreciate if his members could be allocated special parking space to avoid parking on the highways.
Speaking on the impact of economic recession on the association, NARTO President pointed out that, the attendant high cost of spare parts was militating against smooth operation of transportation in the country.