[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ot less than 1,048 people have been killed by tankers and trailers in Nigeria from January to November 2016. The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, revealed the figure, when speaking at an Interactive Session with Stakeholders in Road Transport Sector held in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him, 770 road traffic crashes involving 4,365 tankers and trailers killed 1,048 people, while 4,365 people got injured during the period of review.
Oyeyemi said the crashes involving tankers and trailers had been on the increase since 2014 as 1,862 people were killed while 1,285 deaths were recorded in 2015.
“On comparative notes, it was observed that while there was 31.9 per cent reduction in road traffic crashes between 2014 and 2015, 38.6 per cent was recorded between January and November this year.
“While the rates of tankers and trailers involvement were 15.5 per cent and 0.14 per cent respectively within the period.
“ The summary of crashes involving tankers, trailers and trucks from week one to 48 2016 show 14,984 people were involved in a total of 7934 crashes.
“Among these, tankers recorded over 252 crashes; trailers 518; and trucks 1,276, while other vehicles accounted for 10884, bringing the number of crashes vehicles to 12,959 killing 1,748 and leaving 6,365 injured,’’ he said.
Oyeyemi said that the FRSC would continue to put measures in place to address the challenges and had initiated a new partnership with relevant stakeholders in road safety to curb them.
He urged tanker owners to put in place safety valve to avoid spillage of content of tankers in case of crashes.
Oyeyemi said to regulate safe practice for effective and safe delivery of liquid hydrocarbon in Nigeria, FRSC had initiated a safe-to-load programme and deployed 168 personnel to 43 tank farms in Nigeria.
He said within one year, 103,201 vehicles had been inspected to determine their level of compliance with the minimum safety standard and 78,121 met the standard, while 25,080 failed.
The corps marshal said to ensure safer road environment especially during the festive periods, the corps mapped out strategies to address traffic challenges by deploying personnel to identified black-spots.
He said 38 critical corridors had been identified for special patrol with the aim of reducing road traffic crashes,fatalities and prompt removal of obstructions.
He urged all Nigerians and stakeholders to join the campaign to “crash the crash’’ in the festive season.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal, represented by Mr Mohammed Tahir,Director Parastatals SGF, said the federal government was working to eliminate road bumps from the highways.
This, Lawal said, would help in curbing crashes, adding that there was need to train and retrain drivers so as to avoid mistakes that could lead to accidents on the highways.
He called for need for the installation of speed cameras to be installed on the roads to spot out recalcitrant drivers.
Responding, Mr Salimonu Oladiti, the National Chairman of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (PTD/NUPENG), appealed to FRSC to compel tanker drivers to install safety valves on their vehicles.
Oladiti said this would help in averting deaths that resulted in spillage of tankers contents in accident scenes.
He said the major challenges faced by tanker drivers were speed bumps and road blocks on the highways because too much application of brakes by tankers led to break failure and appealed that such should be checked.
Mr Najeem Yasin, the President of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW),reiterated the union’s commitment to collaborating and supporting the FRSC to curb crashes especially in the festive seasons.
Yasin said the union would play its part to ensure an accident-free festive season.
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