Following the menace of tanker drivers and their truck on Nigerian roads, Lagos State Government wednesday challenged traffic officers in the 35 states of the federation and Abuja to come up with ideas that would help to curtail the hazard in the country.
Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Frederick Oladeinde, who stated this while declaring open the National Conference of Directors/Chief Road Traffic Officers of the federation held in Ikeja, lamented the rising cases of truck accidents in Lagos and other parts of the federation, saying the time has come for the situation to be salvaged.
Oladeinde said it’s pertinent that sanity, security and standards should be allowed to prevail on roads, adding that everyone is considered a stakeholder as the road is a shared asset by all and sundry.
“It is imperative therefore that everyone tow the path of honour by doing what is right while making use of the road,” he said.
He told the gathering that Lagos State Government would want to see debates on what could be done to control truck menace in the state and other parts of the country.
Oladeinde said the theme of the conference: “Employing Technology to Enhance Compliance and Safety on Our Roads” was very strategic in the implementation of relevant technology to mitigate risks, increase the rate of traffic law compliance and reduce hazards on our roads to the barest minimum.
“The deployment of smart, connected sensors, combined with machine-learning-powered analytics tools will enable us to gather information, make predictions and reach decisions that will enhance safer roads. It is important to state clearly that human elements are considered the major contributing factor to road fatalities/accidents as a result of reckless driving habits that negate the principles of defensive/safe driving,” he said.
Also speaking, the National Chairman, Conference of Directors/Chief Road Traffic Officers (VIOs), Engr. Paul Bepeh, said traffic officers would no longer fold their arms and be left behind by other parts of the world in the use of technology in Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
According to him, “It is high time we began to explore technology alternatively for the effective performance of our schedules for better service delivery. While we cannot say that MVA and road traffic safety have received the desired attention across the states of the federation, we are bold to say that through this body’s annual conferences and other activities, we have been able to make some noticeable changes.”
In his remarks, the Director, Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), Akin-George Fashola, said the body had a strategic framework which had enabled it to move from manual operation to computer-based operation, saying the framework was to improve on its four-cardinal ‘S’ – Safety, Standard, Sanity and Security.
“Lagos State has the highest number of vehicles plying her roads, hence the need to have a policy that would enable the populace of Lagos to get to their destination safely and on time and also ensuring that the vehicles plying our roads should be roadworthy and drivers plying our roads must be certified,” he said.
Lagos State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Hyginus Omeje, in his submission, said the conference should go beyond talk-shop and ensure that traffic personnel were trained in the use of technology, adding that the conference should give the issue of roadworthiness special attention so as to avoid arbitrariness.
He called for an end of in-house wrangling among traffic agencies, saying the work of managing traffic was too big for a particular agency to handle while calling for collaboration among the various traffic management agencies in the country.
Amba added that the suspected fraudsters were deceiving the citizens that they were out to empower the needy and less-privileged persons, and sought a registration fee of N5,000 as prerequisite for qualification.
He added: “They used to deceive the people that with an investment of N5,000, the person would get the sum of N50,000 in return and so on, with women mostly their victims.
“Kindly look out for such people or organisations and report them to the nearest police station for arrest and prosecution.”