By Henry Umoru
THE Senate has begun investigation into the level of Compliance to Road Safety Legislations amongst Haulage operators, owners and drivers on the nation’s Highways.
The Senate yesterday asked its Committee on Transport to carry out a holistic investigation into the compliance.
The Upper Chamber has also mandated the Committee to investigate adoption and implementation of the recommendations from the 2018 haulage operators stakeholders’ summit among all relevant stakeholders.
The Senate has also urged the Nigerian Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) to clamp down on trucks and articulated lorries plying the highways without road safety requirements.
Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion entitled, “Urgent Need to Reduce Accidents Involving Trucks and Articulated Lorries on our Highways” and sponsored by Sen. Teslim Folarin, All Progressives Congress, APC-Oyo Central and co- sponsored by 12 other Senators.
Presenting the motion, Senator Folarin noted that Nigeria still relied on trucks and articulated lorries for the movement of goods and products into, within and out of the country in spite of the continued loss of lives and property caused by such vehicles.
He said, “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) loads on average, 1, 255 trucks laden with petroleum products for dispatch daily, with demand and supply chain concluded through road transport in tanker trailers.
“In 2017, there were 779 recorded Road Traffic Collisions (RTC) involving trailers and tankers, which resulted in 737 fatalities and 2622 serious injuries.
“That implies that an average of two Nigerians were killed every day and seven seriously injured in 2017 as a result of trailer/tanker accidents.
“These accidents accounted for 28 per cent of road accidents in Nigeria, which is grossly disproportionate to the percentage of trailers and trucks plying our roads.”
Folarin further noted that FRSC had cited none adherence to road traffic safety practices and parking in unauthorised location along the road as two of the three top reasons for road accidents involving articulated lorries.
He, however, said that in spite of statutory provisions empowering the Nigerian Police, the FRSC, Vehicle inspectorates to curb the menace, the problem persists unabated.
Contributing, Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, APC, Niger North who noted that materials lost as a result of accidents involving trucks and articulated lorries was huge, however called for the training of tanker drivers to check such accidents while also calling on the FRSC and all other relevant agencies to “step up their games”.
Also, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-Enugu North who called for the proper and timely release of fund to contractors handling the country’s federal highways to broaden the roads, said, “While the committee on works was on oversight recently, the contractors complained of delay in payment of funds.
“We have to widen the roads. If the Senate mounts pressure on the government to release funds to these contractors, we can widen the roads and then the fatalities will reduce.”