Experts advocate special driver’s licence for commercial motorists

• Seek sustainable policies against road crashes
As the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) embarks on full enforcement of the installation of speed limiting device in commercial vehicles, transportation experts have tasked the agency to look at other sustainable policies that will reduce road accidents in Nigeria.

The experts, who spoke with The Guardian exclusively insisted that drastic and sincere policies were needed to addresses the country’s alarming road traffic accident, particularly to clampdown on avoidable death.

“As effective as speed limiters could be, my opinion still remains that there are more effective and research motivated policies that could help curb road traffic accidents on our roads,” Road Safety for Africa’s Adeyemi Adedokun told The Guardian in an interview.

He said that there is a need for strict regulation of commercial driver’s licensing process, stressing that special driver training is required for most commercial drivers.

“Have you ever thought of where truck drivers in the country learned how to drive? How many driving schools offer trick driving classes in the country? Most of these drivers learned on the job and our yearly accident records tell the rest of the story.

“Also, in most accidents involving commercial vehicles, drivers often survive while the passengers are the usual victim. This is simply because the drivers wear seat belts while passengers don’t because they are either not enforced to or no seat belt available.

“These examples are cheap and effective methods. It makes one wonder whether the agency really cares about safety on the roads or sales of the devices,” Adedokun said

The Managing Director, Vistal Planet Limited, Dr. Mobolaji Olaseni, however said he is not an advocate of speed limiters, saying: “You may be surprised that this policy may be to promote some individual interest.”

Rather, he stressed the importance of the roadworthiness of vehicles and mandated vehicles to have enough reflectors to warn drivers of others ahead particularly at night and during bad weather.

Spokesman for FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, reiterating the agency’s intention to fully enforce the policy that makes it compulsory for all commercial vehicles to install speed limiting device, said the sector and field commands of the agency had been fully mobilised for the exercise.

Kazeem also said the Army, Police, Civil Defence, Department of State Services (DSS), and other security agencies were on standby to provide security support.

He stated that mobile courts had been set up nationwide for the purpose, adding that defaulters could pay up to N3,000 as penalty depending on the discretion of the courts.

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