The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Thursday said poor maintenance of articulated vehicles and inadequate drivers’ training were among reasons responsible for increase in truck-related accidents.
Mr Samuel Obayemi, Zonal Commanding Officer, RS2 Command, comprising Lagos and Ogun States, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, following the spate of truck accidents and fatalities.
Obayemi said that many of the trucks plying Nigeria’s roads are old and not properly managed by their owners and operators.
“We have noticed that some of these articulated vehicles are not properly maintained because more than 70 per cent of those accidents occur as a result of brake failure on the part of the trucks.
” On the part of the owners, one will expect that proper maintenance will be done.
“There is also a need for regular training. Retraining of these drivers is very important,” Obayemi said.
He said the corps had an understanding with some truck owners to train their drivers regularly in batches.
Obayemi said that the corps had also observed some deficiencies in the manufacturing of some of the trucks and was addressing these with the manufacturers.
According to him, some accidents occur because of fatigue on the part of the truck drivers who are always on long journeys, driving for several hours without stopping and resting.
The FRSC boss said: “One thing we have noticed again is that most of them (truck drivers) don’t observe enough rest.
“So, we have agreed among stakeholders and have a PPP (Private-Public-Partnership) arrangement to address that.
“Rest points are being constructed for them. When a driver drives for four or five hours, he should take a rest and stretch his legs. They can sleep overnight or for some time before continuing the journey.”
According to him, FRSC is partnering with individuals and motor companies who are interested in setting up Rest Areas for long distance drivers at strategic locations across the country.
On why the FRSC officials on patrol seldom flag down articulated vehicles for inspection, Obayemi said the corps had a way of tracking erring ones with their companies instead of endangering lives of its personnel.
The FRSC boss commended the Lagos State Government on road repair as well as its effort to address gridlock and ensure free flow of traffic.
“We are working with other sister agencies like LASTMA (Lagos State Traffic Management Authority) in Lagos and TRACE (Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps) in Ogun and together we are synergising. What Lagos government has put in place is commendable.
“Of recent, it (Lagos State Government) employed about a 1, 017 LASTMA new cadets to add to their workforce. The government is also investing in water transportation.
“With the restriction of Okada and tricycles on the major roads and introduction of high capacity and mini buses, safety on roads will improve. We are not resting on our oars,” he said.