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Review of 2020 Special Patrol Operations: Corps Marshal Convenes Year 2021 First Virtual Meeting With Transport Stakeholders, Communicates Areas of Immediate Improvement

Pursuant to the expiration of the 2020 end of the year special patrol operations which lasted between 25 December, 2020 and 15 January, 2021, the Corps Marshal Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi has convened the first virtual meeting with road transportation stakeholders across the country. The meeting was targeted at reviewing the impact of the exercise, identifying notable challenges and communicating areas of immediate improvement to the stakeholders, with a view to enhance the safety of lives and properties on the road.

In a statement by Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Public Education Officer, during the meeting coordinated from the national headquarters of the Commission, the Corps Marshal appreciated the efforts of the Federal Government towards the realisation of the safety mandate; as well as the cooperation and contributions of all road transportation stakeholders in ensuring the safety of the highways in the year 2020.

While analysing the 1 month special patrol, the Corps Marshal stated that even though the Corps recorded low road traffic crashes compared to the previous year, there was an observable record of increased fatalities, with heavy fatalities recorded in fewer number of crashes.

He noted that most of the crashes occurred at night and in the early hours of the morning while some high fatality crashes that involved fuel-laden tankers (explosions) and unlatched containerised cargoes, as well as trucks carrying a combination of humans, animals and goods were recorded within the period.

Oyeyemi listed the most prevalent causes of the crashes recorded within the period as; Speeding, Fatigue, Wrongful overtaking, Break failure and lane discipline. According to him, the secondary cause or resultant effect of the above causes is Loss of control.

As a result of that review, all stakeholders must ensure compulsory installation of speed limiting device in their vehicles to curtail incidences of speed related crashes; ensure compulsory observance of precautionary guidelines for safe public transportation amidst the second wave of COVID-19 and also discourage overloading of vehicles with both passengers and goods to reduce fatalities”.

Accordingly, night travels which have cost the country many lives must be discouraged since it is prone to poor visibility, fatigue and could lead to sleeping on the wheels, and drivers must be subjected to regular visual acuity test to fish out those with defects. In addition, strict observance of maximum driving hours and rest period must be complied with, stating that drivers must observe 15 minutes rest after every 4 hours drive.

Responding to the Corps Marshal, the National President, National Association of Road Transport Owners, Alhaji Lawal Yusuf Othman, said that NARTO has already keyed into the installation of speed limiting device (SLD) and safety valves as most of their vehicles have already installed the device.

On his part, Otunba Salimon Oladiti, the National Chairman, NUPENG-PTD also advised State Governments to create road barriers on most of the bridges in there states, as it is obtainable in Lagos and Oyo States so as to mitigate every factor that could lead to crashes.

Other attendees who spoke on the need to ensure that all vehicles assembled in Nigeria have the SLD installed in them and properly calibrated before they are allowed to commence operations include the National President, Public Transport Owners of Nigeria Association (PTONA), Mr Isaac Uhunmwagho, representatives of Peace Mass Transit, ABC transport and NURTW.

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