The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, says the corps has developed fresh plans to curb road accidents on the nation’s highways in 2021.
Oyeyemi said this at the first 2021 strategy session of Zonal Commanding Officers and Sector Commanders on zero tolerance to crashes in 2021 on Friday in Abuja.
He said the measures would ensure that the country was free from any form of road crashes.
He noted that the corps would intensify its collaboration with other security agencies to collectively surmount the challenges.
Oyeyemi also said the damage to the road infrastructure on newly constructed roads arising from indiscriminate parking along the highways and other forms of acts of unauthorised access to the highways would be addressed.
He added that market encroachment, road closure and refusal of the use of the pedestrian bridge would be tackled head-on
He said: “The corps will not tolerate dead weights on any bridge.
“Already, the corps had commenced massive removal of obstruction across the nation’s highways.
“This exercise will be sustained and the public have already been put on notice, and it is hereby reiterated that any item of obstruction on the highways shall be removed to secure dump sites.
“Owners of those with salvageable value shall be prosecuted before such confiscations are released to them.”
Oyeyemi said the high rate of crashes, deaths and injuries as well as the destruction of property remained the concern of the corps.
He said the corps was determined and committed to an unrelenting pursuit to ensure that these were brought down drastically.
He also said vehicle operators who committed life-threatening violations would be made to go for psychological evaluation to determine their suitability to continue to drive.
Oyeyemi said: “Consequently, the enforcement of the use of Speed Limiting Device will be consolidated to check speeding.
“For avoidance of doubt, from 2018 to 2020, 158,464 arrests have been made concerning speed violation.
“In the same vein, there will be renewed zero tolerance to rickety vehicles on the highways as a task-force is being put in place for this purpose.”
Oyeyemi noted the non-use of safety valves had caused catastrophe when petroleum laden tankers crashes, saying that enforcement of regulations of loading of hazardous substances would be intensified.
He said the corps would expand efforts in the tank farms for inspection of tankers loading petroleum product, most especially the full enforcement of the required standards before loading.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari had graciously endorsed the postponement of the implementation deadline on phase out of trucks with capacity of 45,000 litres and above to June 30, 2022.
He said: “This is to stave off possible petroleum supply distribution gap, which unpatriotic marketers could exploit to spark artificial scarcity in the country.
“I am, therefore, using this opportunity to remind all affected stakeholders to make the best use of the window availed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Appropriate enforcement mechanism is being worked out in conjunction with the relevant authorities to ensure the full enforcement of the government directives on expiration of the deadline.
“The deadline for the mandatory installation of the safety valves in all tankers with effect from February 28 2021 also stands.
“Already, the Department of Petroleum Resources has designed a portal to be used for the down stream sector.”
Oyeyemi said the corps would not also neglect its assigned responsibilities by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 relating to road transportation, especially at the on-set of the second and deadlier wave.
He said the corps would also sustain its assistance to states and the FCT for the evacuation of victims of COVID-19 pandemic to the various isolation centres.
He said: “All fleet operators are hereby reminded to adhere to the standard guides issued regarding the terminus, loading and in-vehicle conformities.
“All other vehicle operators must equally observe the 50 vehicle per cent carrying capacity rule as in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.”