The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) yesterday said that about N9.8 billion was lost in 196 truck accidents recorded across the country since January.
Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, disclosed this at the 2018 National Safety Training Programme organised by Lagos State branch of the National Union of Petroleum and National Gas Workers (NUPENG) for petroleum tanker drivers (PTD) in Lagos.
Oyeyemi said that the loss involved the cost of other vehicles, lives and damage to the environment and roads.
The agency, according to him, recorded 282 accidents involving tanker drivers in 2016, and 240 in 2017.
He, however, noted that there was a slight reduction in the number of crashes recorded during the period, compared to previous years.
He said: “We have an agreement with NUPENG PTD to organise periodic training programmes for their drivers. This is very critical, 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, 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,” he added.
The corps marshal urged the union to carry out more visual tests on drivers, as it had been discovered that 30 per cent of commercial vehicle drivers had visual acuity challenges.
“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 experienced vision acuity challenges. Wearing a pair of glasses is not a crime and will not result to loss of jobs, but will improve their visual acuity measure,” he stated.
While calling on the union to ensure periodic medical examination for its drivers to ensure road safety culture in the country, he observed that many of the people tested were discovered to be hypertensive and with high sugar levels.
Earlier in his speech, the national chairman of PTD, Salmon Oniditi, said that 61 members had been expelled due to misconduct, including fraudulent activities.