Accidents: Lagos mulls designated routes for trucks, articulated vehicles

The Lagos State Government said it was contemplating implementing logistic routes for trucks and articulated vehicles as specified in the state’s Transport Master Plan.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, made the disclosure at a Stakeholders’ meeting on Thursday at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa Ikeja.

Oladeinde said that the decision was made following recurring truck accidents happening within the state, especially the most recent ones which resulted in the loss of lives and property.

He noted that in order to curb incessant truck accidents, the stakeholders were gathered periodically to chart robust strategies that would further checkmate unceasing truck accidents in the state.

The commissioner for transportation said that the safety and security of Lagosians remained paramount to the government.

He stressed that a combination of different policies, which included erecting truck barriers, compliance with minimum safety standards and restricting movement of articulated vehicles to designated routes, would curb the persistent accidents.

Explaining the proposed logistic routes for trucks and articulated vehicles, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mr Abdulhafiz Toriola, noted that the government was considering implementing the use of designated routes.

Toriola said that the routes were one of the strategies to checkmate the operations and activities of trucks plying the state roads.

He said that government did not want to take unilateral decisions hence, it called for the stakeholders’ engagement to dialogue with relevant unions before taking necessary steps.

The permanent secretary also mentioned that the ministry was reviewing the Minimum Safety Standard Procedure for trucks and articulated vehicles being implemented by the Nigerian Ports Authority.

He said it might modify the SSP by including the Vehicle Inspection Service and Federal Road Safety Commission officials in the inspection process.

Toriola also expressed the government’s willingness to collaborate with relevant truck operators to ensure that drivers manning the steering of trucks were well-trained.

He added that only qualified drivers were allowed to drive the trucks/articulated vehicles within the state.

Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Sola Giwa, said the meeting was germane because of lives that were being lost daily due to negligence by drivers and truck owners.

Giwa said as a responsive and proactive government, it would not condone unabated truck accidents resulting in the killing of innocent citizens.

He further stated that the collaboration of the government and truck unions would go a long way at ensuring the most desired sanity on our roads.

Giwa said that this could be achieved with the full support of the Police and the state’s law enforcement agencies.

“The Representative of Council of Maritime Transport Union and Association, Mr Adeyinka Aroyewun, called for genuineness and clarity of purpose by both parties to help in achieving the desired results.

Also, Chief Remi Ogungbemi of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners urged the government to checkmate the activities of area boys who had constituted themselves as threats to the lives of their members.

Present at the meeting were representatives from the Nigerian Ports Authority, Depot and Petroleum Product Marketers Association and Council Of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations.

Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners and Association of Maritime Truck Owners also attended the event, among others stakeholders.

All Stakeholders agreed to work with the state government to tackle the menace of trucks and articulated vehicle drivers in the state.