Tanker and trailer drivers have been urged to always drive safely to remain alive in the interest of their families and loved ones.
Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi’s advice was delivered at a sensitization programme for tanker and trailer drivers on safe driving during the ‘Ember months’ during a sensitization programme at the Suleja Depot of the Nigerian National petroleum Corporation.
The event was organized by Proedge Ltd, an Abuja-based public relations firm as part of its corporate social responsibility initiatives towards saving lives during the much-dreaded “ember” months.
Represented by the Assistant Corp Marshal, Federal Operations, Adegoke Adetunji, the FRSC boss emphasised that safe driving can be achieved when road users obeyed speed limits, ensured that their vehicles were in good condition and drivers were of sound mind.
He specifically warned drivers to avoid night travels and over speeding, being the theme for this year’s “ember months” campaign.
“Firstly, consider your family when you drive. When you travel, they want you back at home. Nobody can represent you like you want; nobody will pay your children’s school fees when they have their own children to pay for. So, I’m appealing to you, always consider them when you’re driving,” Oyeyemi appealed.
On the dangers of night travels, the Corps Marshal reminded the drivers that night travel could be thrilling due to fewer vehicles on the road, but reiterated that nature could not be cheated, and warned that a little doze could cause regrettable occurrence within seconds.
“The roads may be free at night, but the body demands rest at night. Work during the day, rest at night,” Oyeyemi advised.
He urged drivers of heavy duty vehicles to remember that every road user was entitled to the roads and cautioned against threatening other road users because of the size of their vehicles.
The FRSC boss commended the drivers for turning up for the event, even as he asked them to conduct themselves responsibly by watching their health, maintaining their vehicles regularly and “avoiding wrong parking which endangers the lives of others.”
The Manager, NNPC, Suleja Depot, Engr Abubakar Mohammed appealed to the drivers to bear with the government on the state of the Nigerian roads even as he emphasised that no government would like to see its citizens suffer hardships on the roads
He noted that huge financial requirements were needed to meet the infrastructure deficits across the country, with scare resources and competing demands.
The Depot Manager commended the tanker and trailer drivers for shelving the earlier planned strike and reassured them that government would continue to intervene in addressing their concerns.
Chief Consultant, Proedge Ltd, Mr Tajudeen Kareem, disclosed that the programme was designed to key into the broad policy of the FRSC on continuous sensitization and advocacy for safer roads.
Kareem noted that although the roads were not all in a good shape, human error on the part of road users, particularly drivers of trucks and tankers, still constituted major concerns in ensuring safety on the roads, especially during the “ember months.”
“Government cannot muster enough resources to maintain all the roads at the same time, but we must be conscious as drivers to pay attention to peculiarities of the roads and in playing our part as road users,” Kareem said.
He disclosed that the sensitization programme would be conducted always and replicated across the country for interaction with road users.
Participants commended the organisers and the FRSC for the highly-interactive event even as they appealed to the agency to consider less-stringent penalties when “they suffer vehicular breakdown on the highways.”
They claimed that “the fines they pay for infractions have become quite burdensome for them.$
The event had representatives of drivers unions in attendance including the Unit Chairman, Petroleum Tankers Drivers, NUPENG, Alhaji Nma Mustapha; Chairman, Suleja/Abuja unit of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Yahaya Alhassan and the unit Chairman of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Comrade Hassan Mohammed.
Deputy Corps Commander, Deputy Corps Public Education Officer, FRSC, Mr. Charles Edem alongside other top functionaries of the FRSC accompanied ACM Adetunji to the event.