By Jane Chijioke
The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) in partnership with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has stressed the need for investments in truck transit parks (TTP) to curb accidents and gridlock. Truck transit park, a public rest area for drivers off the highways, serves as a short-term safety break and longer term parking lot on high-use roads corridors.
The agencies spoke at a sensitisation programme with the theme: Truck transit parks: a panacea for crash-free haulage operations in Nigeria.
NSC’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Hassan Bello, said tanker road accidents has been linked to drivers’ fatigue because most of the drivers do not have enough rest before embarking on journeys. “It has been discovered that the main problems drivers complain about is 39 percent fatigue related while main causes of road crashes is 41 per cent related. This is because most drivers sleep for just about four hours in every 24 hours. This underscores the fact that safe and clean truck stops are needed,” he said.
He said the programme was part of the achievements of the Memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by both agencies in 2017 to engage in collaborative enlightenment programmes for truck owners, drivers and the general public, adding that NSC and FRSC would ensure smooth movement of goods facilitated through the use of truck transit parks.
Bello, who was represented by the Director of Special Duties, Mr. Samuel Vontua, noted that under the NSC’s TTP project, some locations have been identified for the establishment of the parks. Such areas include; Porto Novo Creek, Lagos State; Ogere, Ogun State; Onitsha, Anambra State; Mararaban Jos, Kaduna State; Jebba, Kwara State; Lokoja, Kogi State; Ore, Ondo State.
Also, Zonal Commanding Officer FRSC 2, in charge of Lagos and Ogun State, Mr Samuel Obayemi, reiterated that road accidents especially those involved in haulage services are caused by fatigue; hence, the programme was part of ways to bring sanity on the roads. He said the establishment of TTP parks would not only enable drivers have enough rest but also assist them to get to their destinations in good time. He added that the agency would also ensure compliance with the use of these parks and have its members designated at every farm tanks to checkmate trucks and trailers that are not road worthy.
Also speaking, Assistant Corps Marshal, FRSC, Victor Nwokolo, noted that truck traffic requires urgent multifaceted approaches, ranging from policy, technology and investment perspectives to curtail the increasing trends of truck’s single and multiple road crashes.
He said since 2007-2018, the country has recorded 11,720 deaths and 38,832 persons injured. He heaped the blame of this statistics on tankers and trailers driver.
“The truck transit scheme is key towards improving road safety and security of cargo. Statistics shows that the country has recorded several cases of road traffic crashes involving tankers/trailers from haulage business with causes ranging from driver’s fatigue, over speeding and drinking while driving,” he said.
Nwokolo added that the establishment of truck transit parks will promote road safety and security of cargoes and haulage vehicles while in transit reduce pilferage and theft of cargoes, free from harassment, delay and deviation into another territory, among others.