The Lagos State Government on Wednesday lamented the high rate of trailers and tankers accidents in the state and ordered the state’s Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) to go after trucks that are not road worthy in a bid to arrest the upsurge of carnages on roads.
State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement said over the last three months, Lagos State had experienced an upsurge in the number of trailers/tankers involved in major accidents on the Expressways and major arteries.
He said, “We will continue to encourage people to do business in Lagos, but we will not allow the lives of Lagosians and visitors to be put at risk. Lagos State will not tolerate the recklessness of truck drivers when transporting goods on our roads.
“The Vehicle Inspection Services (VIS) is to step up its activities in the government’s bid to stop such accidents involving trucks and others. The government is also curious about the persistence of tanker accidents at the Berger end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the resultant gridlock that trails the incidents, spiralling through the entire Ikeja axis of the State and traumatising motorists and commuters.
“On Tuesday, two incidents, one involving a tanker that fell and exploded in flames on Kara Bridge on the outskirts of Lagos and the other involving a heavy-duty truck carrying farm products around Magboro, left motorists and commuters stranded on the Expressway till the early hours of Wednesday.
“The Government sympathises with Lagosians on the discomfort resulting from the attitude of careless and reckless drivers travelling from the outskirts into Lagos. We will continue to engage the Ogun State Government as well as Federal Government agencies to identify the cause of the recurring Lagos-Ibadan Expressway accidents and fashion out solutions.
“The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has been mandated to continue its support for Ogun State and Federal Government traffic and emergency management agencies by providing evacuation expertise and equipment for quick removal of vehicles involved in crashes on the Expressway. Besides, the Lagos State Government will commission an inquiry to ascertain that the accidents involving tankers and articulated vehicles, which seem to have developed a consistent pattern, are not deliberate acts of carnage.”
The commissioner said such accidents had consistently happened midweek, specifically on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving traffic tailing onto the Third Mainland Bridge, Agidingbi, Ikeja and even Oregun, in many instances.
“The Vehicle Inspection Service will step up its services to prevent issuance of Road Worthiness Certificates to undeserving vehicles, particularly trucks that are not fit to ply our roads.
“While the Lagos State Government acknowledges the hardship caused by the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by the Federal Government, made more unbearable by the crude attitude of some articulated vehicle drivers, it will continue to engage stakeholders at all levels to explore ways of addressing the thorny issues until an enduring solution is found to the menace of truck and tanker accidents on our highways,” he added.