By Evelyn Usman
LAGOS — The Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, yesterday, said that it had arrested and prosecuted 813 truck drivers in Lagos State over traffic offences.The offences include reckless driving and unsecured containers.

The arrest, according to the Zonal Commanding Officer, Zone RS2, Assistant Corps Marshal  Nseobong Akpabio, was made between July and yesterday.

Briefing journalists during the special patrol operation, code-named  during  its special patrol operation code named Operation Scorpion along Lagos /Ibadan expressway, yesterday, Akpabio said the operation was targeted mainly at truck and trailer drivers, some of who have sent innocent motorists to early grave.

The first phase of the operation, he said,  started between July 27 and  31, 2015, during which a total of 537 trucks and trailer drivers were arrested and prosecuted.

He said: “The UN projected that between year 2011 and 2020 if nothing is seriously done in all countries of the world, about five million lives will be lost. So, on daily basis we are doing enforcement and awareness campaigns.

“The essence of this operation is to checkmate  excesses of truck drivers on the  Nigerian roads. Some of the menace include carrying unsecured containers which usually fall and kill people.

“We entered into discussions with the associations since April 2015 to enlighten them on what to do and they pleaded for a time frame for them to put their house in order which we granted them.

“So, by July we commenced enforcement to ensure that they must not drive drunk and that they must drive with good tyres and within the  mandated speed limit.

“Truck drivers must not carry containers that are not secured. This is centred towards the protection of life because no amount of insurance will be enough to pay for any life lost.”

“Some of them drive without drivers licence while others drive with expired and fake driver licence. ”

So we are doing everything possible to ensure that compliance is total.”

The operation he informed, would continue until the end of the year, adding that same operation was also ongoing on other roads like the Abekuta/Lagos expressway, Epe/Ikorodu road and Epe/Ijebu-Ode expressways

Accident averted

However,  during the operation, accidents were averted as some of the truck drivers ordered to stop for proper checks, made an abrupt u-turn in an attempt to escape. One of the trucks with number plate DBT 97 XA which made a swift move to escape with a female FRSC personnel  inside it, would have crushed a woman who was crossing the road in the process.

The truck driver was eventually apprehended by other personnel who gave him a hot pursuit and in the process, rescued their fear stricken colleague.

Another was that of a fully loaded truck with an undisclosed  goods which was driving inward Lagos. In this case, the truck veered off its lane in the driver’s bid to beat the FRSC personnel, an action that caused panic in other road users.

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