Worried by the needless deaths occasioned by the recklessness and carelessness of articulated vehicle drivers on Lagos roads, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said that the situation will no longer be tolerated.
The state chief executive made this declaration at a meeting with truck and articulated vehicle owners and operators while expressing the state government’s displeasure at the increasing rate of accidents involving trucks, trailers and tankers in the last couple of months.
He said further that since the responsibility of the government is to protect citizens lives and property, the increased rate of accidents is making this duty very difficult as lives that should contribute meaningfully to nation building is being wasted on the road due to carelessness and recklessness of articulated vehicle drivers.
Fashola called on owners and operators of articulated vehicles to conduct and reposition their businesses in a manner that would not constitute a menace and danger to other road users and residents of the State.
He reiterated that the state government has set up various agencies in the drive to improve the standard of driving and safety on the road especially the Lagos State Drivers Institute and urged them to avail themselves of these services.
Earlier in his presentation, titled “Articulated Vehicle Related Incidences and Accidents on Lagos Roads in the last Six Months,” Kayode Opeifa, commissioner for transportation, said that Lagos, apart from being the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria and the West African sub-region, as well as one of the world’s busiest cities in terms of road traffic vehicular density, with 90% of the nation’s articulated vehicle traffic has witnessed increased incidences and fatal accidents.
He said this involves articulated vehicles due to frequent breakdowns, drivers not properly trained, not qualified to drive, and not certified to drive, owners of vehicles not showing enough concern and the questionable road worthiness of the vehicles.
The increased rates of incidents and accidents are compounded by issues of traffic congestion occasioned by the recovery efforts, valuable time and man-hour lost to the delays caused by the incidence and the recovery efforts.
Some of the resultant effects to these are injuries, permanent disabilities and deaths, negative impact on cost of health care services provision, cost of properties and more importantly damage to public infrastructure such as street lights, traffic signal lights, road medians, bridges, pedestrian bridges and road furniture.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI); Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG); Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO); Union of Truck and Quarry Employers of Nigeria (UTQEN) and National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) amongst others.