THE Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has concluded plans to open four specialised drivers’ licensing centres across the country in July. This is to ensure that only competent persons drive trucks and tankers on Nigerian roads.
The Corps Marshal, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said this during an interview with newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
According to Oyeyemi, the four specialised centres would be opened in Suleja (Niger), Warri (Delta), Kaduna (Kaduna) and Lagos (Lagos State) in order to ensure that only trained tanker drivers engage in tanker driving.
“Not all drivers can operate trucks and not all tanker drivers have the required capacity to handle such machines. In two weeks time (July), we are going to open specialised drivers license centres for tanker and truck drivers, where we will be training and retraining tanker drivers to ensure safety on the roads.
“That is why Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD-NUPENG) is partnering with us to re-train all its members across the country. We had a resolution with PTD-NUPENG executive members in Sokoto to achieve zero tanker crash by the end of the year,” he said.
According to the FRSC boss: “The drivers will go through the whole gamut of ensuring their ability to drive such vehicles, which will include eye test, psychiatric test and other tests.
“That will ensure that only drivers that are re-trained and licensed by FRSC will be allowed to drive tankers on the nation’s roads. This re-training exercise will be in phases, so that the nation will not be collapsed as a result of training of tanker drivers.
“We are also very happy with the resolution of the union that any tanker without speed limiter device installed in it will not be allowed to load at any depot in the country.
“Similarly, the retroflective tapes will become mandatory for all tankers beginning from September 1, so that all the carnage associated with tanker crashes will become things of the past in the country.”
He, however, enjoined tanker and truck owners to ensure proper maintenance of their vehicles to complement efforts of road safety agencies.
He said: “The minimum safety standard must be adhered to when building tankers locally. For example, absence of safety tank valves leads to content spillage during tanker crashes.
“Tanker crash occurs even in developed countries, but adherence to safety standards helps minimise the consequence of such incidents.”
Oyeyemi also said all tiers of government have roles to play in ensuring safety on the roads and urged local governments to provide resting bay for tanker drivers along the roads.
He said this could also be a means of generating income for such local governments