Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Ogun State command has attributed major causes of road crashes in the state to reckless driving and disregard for traffic rules by drivers of articulated vehicles and petroleum tankers.
It particularly stated that 228 persons had been killed, while 893 sustained serious injuries as a result of accidents caused by petroleum tanker drivers across the state.
According to the FRSC, out of the 904 road crashes recorded in Ogun between January 2018 and June 2019, 390 were caused by the tankers, representing 43 percent.
The Ogun FRSC commander, Clement Oladele, made this known on Wednesday during a one-day safety awareness for petroleum tanker drivers in the state, organised by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Abeokuta field office, held at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mosimi Depot, Sagamu and Ogun State Trailer Park, Ogere-Remo.
Other security agencies and relevant departments such as Nigeria Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDS), Department of State Security (DSS), Fire Service and Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), participated in programme as well as Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE) and Ogun State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Oladele further disclosed that out of 461 deaths recorded during the study, 228 deaths were caused by petroleum tankers, just as he said that out 2,847 injured persons in road accidents in the same period, 893 were caused by the trucks.
While admonishing the tanker drivers to ensure they adhered strictly to traffic rules and regulations, particularly on the highways, the Ogun FRSC commander identified lane indiscipline, over speeding, drivers’ refusal to observe mandatory rest period, overloading and poor visibility of articulated vehicles at night as some of the causes of petroleum tanker crashes.
Earlier, the Operations Controller for DPR in Ogun, Mrs. Muinat Bello-Zagi, said the awareness programme became necessary in order to promote safe, effective and reliable transportation of petroleum products along the highways.
She observed that the number of accidents involving petroleum products tankers in Ogun State had increased significantly, hence the need to take swift action.
Bello-Zagi recommended that the drivers subject themselves to eye tests by accredited opticians, park safely and take a nap when tired, designate second drivers for each trip, watch out for road signs and obey traffic rules.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, who was represented by the Area Commander, Sagamu Area Command, ACP Junaid Bukar, urged the drivers to be safety conscious on the highway and consider other road users.
Other security and traffic management agencies at the event harped on the need for petroleum tanker drivers to exercise great caution while transporting their products, which according to them are highly inflammable.