The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, says more than N3.2 billion was lost to road crashes caused by articulated vehicles in the first quarter of the year.
Mr. Oyeyemi made the disclosure during the joint meeting of National Executive Council and State Chairmen of National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, held in Kaduna on Thursday.
The Corps Marshal said that no fewer than 62 road crashes involving 65 tankers were recorded in the first quarter of 2017 with several lives lost.
He said the accidents were largely due to over speeding, night journeys and “use of motor boys to drive tankers.”
Mr. Oyeyemi explained that most of the crashes occurred in the night, as tanker drivers prefer to travel in the night to evade checks by road marshals.
He called on NARTO to checkmate reckless drivers by employing only responsible drivers to save their investments.
Mr. Oyeyemi commended the Federal Government for establishing the Kaduna-Abuja railway line, which he said had reduced vehicle pressure on the roads.
The FRSC boss, however, warned against overloading, particularly carrying of fire woods and livestock on tankers, saying it was embarrassing to the nation.
He also commended the Federal Government for the ongoing road rehabilitation of major highways and appealed to NARTO to caution their drivers as “it is when the roads are smooth that drivers usually increase their speed.”
He said that the Corps had conducted training, and re-certified articulated vehicles drivers across designated centres nationwide.
He said that full implementation of the law on the use of speed limiters have commenced since February 1, 2017.
“We hope that commercial drivers who are yet to install the device in their vehicles would do so without delay to save the nation from avoidable menace of speed-induced crashes which account for significant percentage 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 and illegal parking.”
Earlier, the National President of the NARTO, Kassim Batalya, decried some government policies which he said had affected transportation business in the country.
Mr. Batalya lamented the perennial road accidents often caused by tanker drivers on the highways and appealed to the officials of the FRSC to work hard to minimize situation.
According to him, high cost of spare parts is militating against smooth operation of transportation in the country.
He assured that his members were conscious of the speed limiters introduced by the FRSC and would abide by the policy.
The NARTO boss urged the federal government to review the Act that established the FRSC, to accommodate activities of the association.
He said that the association would appreciate if the government would allocate special parking space to them, to avoid parking on the highways.
He said that the association had concluded arrangement to train 1,000 drivers, while the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, had also organised similar training to tackle the menace of crashes in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that chairmen of NARTO from the 36 states and Abuja are attending the council meeting convened to deliberate on sundry issues affecting the union.