Chief Ogungbemile (third from the left) and DC Taiwo Adeleye to his left during the visit to the Port police.
Story Dili Utomi.
The members of the Association of Maritime Trucks Owners (AMATO) is a body of truck owners who carry out their businesses along the various Ports corridors and who seem to be concerned about the spate of trucks breakdown and accidents involving trucks especially within and around Lagos. In view of the unfortunate incidents and the constant clash with different authorities over the state of their trucks and the behaviour of some of their drivers, the Association has decided to take its destiny into its own hands in trying to educate and inform members about the dangers of putting trucks that are not road worthy on the roads.
The Association recently kicked off its campaign with visits to the the different agencies of government within and around the Apapa Port area to inform the heads of their intention and to get some words of advice from them on the operational modalities.
The Association also lists some of the primary objectives of the safety awareness and sensitisation exercise among truckers as the reduction of the rate at which containers shift or fall off the trucks and claiming lives/properties or both. To ensure that containers’ twist-locks are properly used to secure containers from falling off the trucks. To reduce the rate at which drivers drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. To make sure that truck drivers have valid driver’s license. To ensure that Owners maintain their trucks adequately with essential components i e functional headlamps, reflective tape at the trailer end, side mirrors, etc. To inculcate and promote adherence to driving rules and regulations among drivers for safety of life and property and to make sure that truck drivers dress professionally.
The AMATO team inspecting a truck to certify it’s road worthiness.
They also made pleas to the government that road traffic law enforcement agents should stop breaking members trucks’ side mirrors, lights, windscreen, deflating tyres, etc. That road traffic law enforcement agents should stop removing the plate numbers on trucks while trying to enforce certain laws. That road traffic law enforcement agents should be more corrective than punitive in their actions and that the road traffic law enforcement agents should stop using truckers as family support mechanisms as all these form part of the reasons why most of their trucks are in rickety and dilapidated conditions because the money members are supposed to use in maintaining the trucks are being collected directly or indirectly under some flimsy excuses of working for government by using government machineries to perpetuate illegallities.
The team asking a driver some questions.
The president of AMATO, Chief Remi Ogungbemile led a visit to the office of the deputy commissioner of police at the Port Police department, Taiwo O. Adeleye. The objectives of the campaign and the mode of operation of trying to safeguard lives and property by going to the roads, inspection of trucks and noting down all that are wrong with the trucks on a piece of paper and giving it to the driver to pass on to the owner for the installation of missing parts and repair of damaged parts were made known to the police boss.
DC Adeleye advised the Association to carry out their campaigns in peaceful manners, involve road safety officials in their campaign, involve all truck owners no matter their Association, encourage drivers to be healthy and avoid drug abuse, to try not to disrupt traffic and to avoid confrontation with non members and unruly drivers .
After the visits, the AMATO president fielded questions from us and harped more on the stated objectives of the campaigns as well as stating the fact that this campaign is not a fund raising venture and will certainly be carried out to show that truck owners and drivers are responsible members of the public. He also pleaded on the media to help in creating more awareness to make sure that these campaigns of safer roads be brought to the doorstep of every member of the public. He appealed to the traffic regulators to be more civil and humane in all their approach to traffic regulation and not to see trucks as cash cows, but seek to have symbiotic relationship with truckers.
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