The Federal Road Safety Corps on Monday said economic loss worth N9.8 billion was lost in 196 traffic crashes recorded so far across the country in 2018.
The Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, stated this at the 2018 National Safety Training Programme for Petroleum Tanker Drivers in Lagos.
The training was organised by Lagos state branch of National Union of Petroleum and National Gas Workers.
Boboye said that the loss involved the cost of other vehicles, lives and damage to the environment and roads.
He, however, said that there was a slight reduction in the number of crashes recorded during the period, compared to previous years.
According to Boboye, the agency recorded 282 accidents involving tanker drivers in 2016 and 240 in 2017.
He said: “We have an agreement with NUPENG PTD to organise periodic training programme for their drivers.
“This is very critical even though we have seen reduction in the traffic crashes involving tanker drivers.
“We have recorded 196 this year and the economic value is about N9.8 billion loss, involving cost of other vehicles, lives, damage to the environment and to the roads.
“NUPENG PTD is putting its best to set up capacity workshop for the tanker drivers. Once they finished in Lagos, the other programme will take place in Kaduna and Warri and this is very impressive.
“We are going to give our maximum support to NUPENG towards ensuring that the 4, 000 tanker drivers are fully trained.”
The FRSC boss also urged the union to carry out more visual tests on drivers, saying that it had been discovered that 30 per cent of commercial vehicle drivers had visual acuity challenges.
He said: “We encourage them on the visual acuity test. During the study carried out about three months ago, we discovered that 30 per cent of the commercial drivers experience vision acuity challenges.
“Wearing a pair of glasses is not a crime and will not result to loss of jobs but will improve their vision activity measure.’’
He observed that many of the people were hypertensive and with high sugar levels.
He said that it was important for NUPENG PTD to ensure periodic medical examination for its drivers to ensure road safety culture in the country.
Earlier, Salmon Oniditi, the National Chairman of PTD, had said that 61 members had been expelled due to misconducts, including fraudulent activities.
According to him, those sanctioned will not be employed any longer in the industry because they pose danger to the progress of the union.
Oniditi said: “The development is imperative as the union will not want to be tagged as one involved in economic sabotage.
“The offences vary from stealing of petroleum products, pipeline vandalism, product adulteration, petroleum products’ theft and illegal bunkering.’’
He added that others vices included hijack of truck, manhole manipulation, constant shortage, sales of petroleum product and replacing with bad ones.
He said the training which started three years ago had passed the test of time and equally led to reduction in accidents.
Oniditi said the union had been constantly educating the members on how their contemporaries in developed country operated.
He said that the union would also ensure the use of modern devices in motoring the members’ activities while on road, saying though, not a new method in most developed countries.
He commended FRSC for its involvement and support in the training since inception of the programme.
Oniditi urged members to always be professional in their activities and ensure that their quota contributed positively to national development.
He also condemned a common habit among drivers whereby they remove speedometers from the dashboard of their truck in order not to know their speed.
Besides, the PTD boss noted that the union would continue collaborating with the FRSC to ensure that petroleum tanker drivers did not become nuisance to the society.