IN ORDER to stem the upsurge of road crashes attributed to operations of heavy-duty vehicles in the metropolis, the Lagos State Government has proposed the implementation of route restrictions for trailer and truck drivers operating within the state, while their movement periods are restricted to night time.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting with representatives of the Truck Driver Unions held at the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, recently , the Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde, announced that the current administration has mapped out dedicated routes to be plied between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am daily.
He elaborated that the move was necessary as Apapa, in Lagos has been rendered less profitable for investors due to the gridlock and activities of truck drivers along the axis, appealing to the stakeholders to cooperate with the State Government to remedy the situation.
Dr. Oladeinde urged them to put aside their sentiments and think of other motoring public as the policy is not meant to cause rancour, but geared towards opening up the state for greater economic realities, adding that attitudinal change on the part of truck drivers is required to make progress.
The commissioner implored the stakeholders to see issues raised as work in progress, while noting that discussions with the unions are ongoing until the grey areas are cleared.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, declared that non-compliance from truck drivers will be met with the full weight of the law and appropriate sanctions exerted on offenders, advising that they must utilise the grace period to get their acts together and conform with the directives.
While requesting the Nigerian Ports Authority to furnish the ministry with information on the call-up schedule on daily basis, Mr. Fayinka maintained that it will also help control the influx of vehicles into Lagos, especially Apapa ports, and prevent the parking of tankers and trucks along road corridors with its attendant damage on the road infrastructure which contributes to traffic gridlock.
Fayinka further enjoined the operators to secure parks outside Apapa to curb the gridlock and work hand in hand with the state Vehicle Inspection Services (VIS) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) by ensuring their vehicles are Road Worthy with the warning that rickety vehicles will be impounded.
The representative of the Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA) Mr. Ayodele Durowaye lauded the proposed initiative by the state government, stating that the directive is not a new development, advising that a forum should be created to discuss the technicalities and draw solutions that will ensure safety and ease stakeholders’ operations.