Sen. Nwoko seeks enforcement of ban on daytime movement of heavy-duty vehicles

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By Deborah Coker

Sen. Ned Nwoko (PDP-Delta) has called on the Federal Government to enforce a nationwide ban on movement of heavy-duty vehicles during the daytime.

Nwoko, who represents Delta North Senatorial District, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said this in view of the alarming surge in Road Traffic Crashes (RTCs), resulting in a staggering annual death toll exceeding 40,000 individuals, as reported by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

Nwoko also said that the statistics revealed a concerning trend, with a 6.01 per cent increase in road traffic crashes in the fourth quarter of 2022.

He said the figure escalated further by 6.16 per cent compared to the same period in 2021, as documented by the FRSC.

The senator noted that the distressing figures persisted into the third quarter of 2023, with Nigeria recording 2,187 road accidents.

This, he said was verified by the FRSC and substantiated by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its latest NBS Road Transport Data for Q4 2023.

He further said that the FRSC had elucidated that articulated vehicles, tankers and trailers were responsible for the death of 3,200 persons in road accidents between 2015 and 2018.

He added that the corps said that this was with Nigeria incurring a staggering loss exceeding N39 billion to tanker and trailer-related road crashes in 2018 alone.

The lawmaker said that with the staggering statistics, it was very imperative to enforce a nationwide ban on movement of heavy-duty vehicles during the daytime across the country, and the time to do that was now.

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He disclosed that his motion on the subject matter, titled “Compelling Need to Enforce Nationwide Ban on Movement of Heavy-Duty Vehicles in Daytime” was already before the Senate.

Nwoko noted that states like Lagos and Abia have implemented prohibitions on the daytime movement of trucks and trailers on state roads.

He said that the confinement of the trucks and their operations to nocturnal hours as a proactive measure to mitigate the escalating carnage on daytime roads, there is the need for others to do same.

He said that recent weeks have shown succession of tragic incidents involving fuel-laden tankers, trailers and cement trucks, precipitating ghastly accidents with alarming casualty rates.

“I was informed about the grievous incident that happened in Rivers on April 26, wherein a fuel-laden tanker erupted in flames, claiming the lives of four individuals and engulfing approximately 100 vehicles at the Eleme section of the East-West Road.

“This followed a collision with another vehicle, catalysing a catastrophic explosion that rapidly spread to adjacent tankers and vehicles ensnared in the ensuing traffic impasse.

“I was also informed about another harrowing incident that occurred at Okene bypass on the Okene-Lokoja expressway in Kogi on April 28, involving a cement truck which tragically claimed the lives of no fewer than 19 individuals, epitomising the perils posed by heavy-duty vehicles.

“I am concerned that it has become all too commonplace to encounter fuel-laden tankers, heavily laden cement trucks, and articulated vehicles hauling perilous cargo jostling for space alongside passenger vehicles during daylight hours and early evenings.

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“This exacerbate the risk of collisions and calamities on the nation’s roadways.

“I therefore call on the Federal Ministry of Transportation to collaborate with the FRSC to incorporate a nationwide ban on daytime movement of heavy-duty vehicles into its Safety Requirements/Guidelines for Articulated Lorries (Tankers/Trailers) Operations in Nigeria.

“They should be permitted to carry out their operations only between the hours of 12 midnight and 6 a.m.

“I equally call upon the FRSC to exercise greater diligence in their operations, upgrade traffic and vehicle standard regulations where necessary, and ensure strict enforcement.”

Nwoko noted that failure to uniformly enforce such regulations nationwide portends a continuation of road accidents involving heavy-duty vehicles, characterised by an alarming fatality rate and the sustained hemorrhaging of billions of naira in economic losses. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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