WCorps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, has expressed sadness at the high rate of crashes involving the vehicles of Peace Mass Transit.
Oyeyemi spoke yesterday while declaring open an interactive session between the FRSC and members of the Management of Peace Mass Transit to find lasting solutions to the menace.
Bisi Kazeem, the Head of Media Relations and Strategy, quoted Oyeyemi as saying that he was alarmed by the growing rate of crashes involving vehicles belonging to the company, pointing out that the FRSC was conscious of its responsibilities to road users through appropriate policy measures put in place to address the challenges of road traffic crashes in the country.
He said: "One of such safety measures is Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme, which was launched in 2007 as an intervention strategy for ensuring professionalism in road transport management in accordance with the FRSC Establishment Act 2007."
Oyeyemi further stressed that the National Road Traffic Regulations 2012 was equally enacted by the FRSC to deal with specific challenges of road safety, noting that Regulation 198 (1) specifically stated that all road transport operators who engage in inter-state road transport services shall establish a safety unit and appoint a safety officer as the head of the unit who shall ensure that operational standards are maintained as prescribed in the regulation.
Oyeyemi urged the Peace Mass Transit management to ensure that its terminals are made conducive for smooth operations and that provisions for emergency vehicles are made by the Company.
He said: "For instance, between January 2015 to December 2015, eight crashes were recorded by the company's drivers involving 62 casualties. While seven were killed, 55 of them were injured."
Decrying the sharp increases in crashes recorded by the company's vehicles between last year and January to June this year, Oyeyemi noted that 11 crashes were recorded within six months of the year involving 95 casualties, out of which 37 were killed and 58 injured.
"These quantum increases must be of interest to government and all road safety conscious individuals," the Corps Marshal stated.
"That is why the FRSC has decided to call this meeting today for members of the Corps and Management of the company to critically examine the factors responsible for the falling safety standards among the Company's drivers with a view to finding lasting solutions to the menace.
"The Company must present all its drivers and vehicles for recertification and safety audit, while its safety managers must ensure that the speed limiters installed in their vehicles are not tempered with by the drivers.
"The Safety document prepared for the Company by the FRSC for its operational guidelines must be properly utilised and a new safety orientation must be imbibed by the drivers of the Company through more thorough monitoring and strict adherence to safety rules", he added.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Peace Mass Transit, who was represented by the Executive Director, Operations, Ugwu Timothy Chidubem, while assuring the Corps that the Company was concerned about the recent upsurge in the death rate recorded by the drivers, assured that adequate safety measures are being taken to address reoccurrence.
Chidubem highlighted some of the measures already taken to include installation of speed limiting device in the company's vehicles, avoidance of overloading, insistence on regular retraining of the drivers and ensuring routine checks on the vehicle as well as improvement in customer service.