Home Uncategorized Interview: Latching of trailers, FRSC swings into action

Interview: Latching of trailers, FRSC swings into action

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The responsibility of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC is to ensure safety on Nigerian roads and over the years the corps has achieved some successes while also grappling with some challenges.

Ensuring motorists adhere strictly to road regulations is a Herculean task as motorists keep flouting the laws. Their failure to do the right thing has led to wanton destruction of lives and property as well as damage to the roads. However, there is good news. The FRSC is embarking on full enforcement of latching of trailers and other articulated vehicles on nigerian roads. This had become necessary following the series of deaths as a result of containers falling off from trailers on the roads for failure to latch them.
Lagos state, the commercial nerve centre of the country is a beehive of these vehicles where these trailers and others come to pick up goods and petroleum products imported into the country through the Apapa ports.

In this interview, the corps Marshal, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi speaks on these issues and more
Containers falling off from trailers is a source of concern to many Nigerians especially in Lagos, many people have died because most of these containers are not well fasten to the trailers, what are you doing about this?

We are having assessment of the traffic situation on the major highways, Lagos-Ibadan and the recent problems on Lekki Épé expressway.
My major concern has to do with this issue of bet trailers. In 2015 we started the enforcement in which 3,000 trailers were impounded and with the respite we reduce this thing and other issues crop up and of recent I have seen again, the non compliance in respect of the agreement made with the AMATO and that is why again we really want to sound a note of warning to them.

One of the area which they complain and which I will not go back on has to do with the issue of enforcement, enforcement is suppose to serve as deterrent, the issue of all these complains that they fines are too much, the Lagos state traffic law is very clear, traffic rules and regulations are made to serve as deterrent, so if you don’t want to be penalize then you stay out of trouble. We are resuming full enforcement of this flag bet trailers, any flag bet trailer that the container is not latched is going to be impounded not only that the tyres are source of concern , the minimum safety standard is not being complied with , so am on full out enforcement with them.
You see this act of irresponsibility must be stopped, lawlessness in which this containers break down on the highway, it’s left unattended to in the process smaller vehicles ramp into it, go under it , it is my responsibility to ensure that the correct thing is done. One, not only that if other vehicles, if there is a breakdown the law stipules that you must display appropriate warning signs, a case where flag bet trailers breakdown , leaves is not a replacement for reflective warning signs , stones are not replacement or tyres and I have warned them.

I had a meeting with them led by their chairman about three weeks ago and I have warned them, they are not replacements, we need to ensure safety of lives and property. You vehicle cannot breakdown on the highway especially on the fast lane and a vehicle ramps into it then am in trouble then I must ensure the proper thing is done, have directed the zonal commander in Lagos that is why we had a meeting, full enforcement must resume with a mobile court if they are complaining of high charges of fine of 250,000 there is no going back by the Lagos state government am in support of the lagos state traffic laws in lagos and I will ensure full compliance, is very important , so if you don’t want to pay 250,000 or 100,000 then you stay out of trouble, laws are met to serve, punishment are met to serve as deterrent m so if you don’t want to pay then do the appropriate thing but the law is this if your vehicle breaks down and you display appropriate warning signs , no offense , it behoves on me to assist you to move it out of the road and resumption of normal traffic flow but when you are abandoned it and nothing is done it is a serious offense.
What is FRSC doing about teenagers or young boys driving trailers and other articulated vehicles?

That is one critical issue, They are the motor boys, if you recollect two weeks ago we met NUPENG in Enugu , we commended them for their effort, I met NARTO last week in Kaduna , these are key issues of engaging the principal stakeholders in the transport sector , what you have said now is correct m a case where the motor boy , somebody who is still under 20 is driving such a trailer, a flag bet trailer carrying a 40 feet container I think is an act of gross irresponsibility on the part of the drivers , it shows the level of indiscipline on the part of the association and of not controlling the drivers. The driver has no right, quote me, he has no right to give such a vehicle with the goods and the value to his boy, who is not trained , experienced, the national road traffic regulation is very clear on the age of somebody who is authorize to drive a trailer and trucks not just somebody who is over 18 years. So giving your vehicle to motor boy is a risk and endangering the lives of other road users, I agree to what you are saying and that’s part of the enforcement , the zonal commanding officer is going to see to the full enforcement. When you look at them, they are too young to drive it. If you look at the luxury buses, nobody worth its onion would give his vehicle to a young boy, he will crash it and move on and when crashes occur they don’t die , so that’s why we need to really focus on this but other lives are wasted , we must do all these things, this lawlessness must stop and am determined with my team in Lagos here to ensure that on our major highways , leaving the ports and ….we fully ensure this, that’s one of the key issues we did with NPA is part of the enforcement we signed with the NPA to ensure full compliance not only that but the issue of the speed limiting device, then the issue of extra headlamps must stop. When you are carrying containers the national road traffic regulation is very clear the retro-reflective tapes must be on the vehicle, the other road users must be well protected, you must not endanger the lives of other road users, I think we are on full out on this one.
How far have you gone with speed limiters and the level of compliance?

We are moving on, we have about almost 40% now and am impressed with the responses, you see! there is something with Nigerians, we sit on the fence, they are watching whether this thing we work or not, they never believe we have commenced the full enforcement even some have promised that the whole thing will collapse, there will be strike and co but when you have the key stakeholders complying and the organized transport sector, I think we are fully on course, before the end of the year, I think we are getting somewhere, like the NUPENG is complying, NARTO am happy with those too even though there are some minor problems with NURTW leadership and co is normal, don’t expect everybody to comply immediately but I think am satisfied with the level we are going, we will continue to engage them.
What we are talking about is this, one, what is the maximum speed limit on our expressways, for expressways is maximum for cars is 100, buses 90, somebody is going at 100,120, 140 with passengers, we have about one point five million vehicles in the country forget whatever people are saying and a road network of two hundred and four thousand kilometers, not all Nigerians of a population of 180 million can owe vehicles, so the rest rely on commercial transportation and 65% of these crashes occurs with commercial vehicles hence we did not bring speed limiting device to the country we escalated it to the front burner, organized transport sector for example the MOMA, major marketers is one of their key issues before that is OANDO, MOBIL, MRS FORTE OIL and co before you can load you must have all these things, even their safety standards is highly commendable, so when we saw this the data that 50% of the crashes where speed related we brought it to the front burner and Mr. president approved it hence the enforcement and there is no going back. Two months after I think we are on course.
Easter is around the corner, what measures are in place to ensure safety on the roads?

Well, the government has provide so far, I think we have appropriate logistics even though we still need more but I think we have re-fleeted our vehicles and we have more ambulances now we are working on procuring motor trucks again through the world bank, I think so far we are on course, we only need to ask Nigerians to obey the traffic rules and regulations, we are going to do the needful, deploy our personnel to the critical corridors and ensure that we continue to bring down the crashes, we need support of the media, we née more people to give us more airtime for jingles but for enforcement for patrol, I thinks we have played our role 24/7 and our responsibility of what is expected of us as an organization

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