The Joint Council of Seaport Truckers (JCOST) has recommended the re-introduction of weigh bridges in the nation’s seaports as well as on the nation’s highway as part of measures to curtail incidences of truck accidents on the nation’s highway in which cases many lives are lost.
A chieftain of the Council and Chairman of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Tincan Island Chapter, Alhaji Isiaka Olalere who made this recommendation in a chat with Primetime Reporters in Lagos recently said the weigh bridges if re-introduced would help check overloading on the part of the truckers which in most cases was responsible for containers falling off the trucks thereby killing people and injuring many.
Olalere disclosed that as at today, there were no verifiable working weigh bridges at the various seaports as well as on the nation’s highways recalling that there used to be one at the Lagos Toll Gate as well as on the Ikorodu road adding that those ones had gone moribund.
“You know in the past, we tried our best, our people are very hard to control. There was a time we initiated something like load and weigh and we discovered that some of these containers , a truck cannot carry two and we told our people in a situation where you cannot carry two, you have to carry one conveniently and go and allow your colleague to carry the other.
“That time, we said if you are carrying heavy load like tiles, chemicals and the likes, you carry one and let the other ones carry the others but some of our men will not agree, they will say my vehicle is double deck or double axle, I can carry two.
“At the end of the day, if he carries two, something can happen. But to me, the key’s lock of every truck that is coming into the ports must be completed. There is no way you can go and load inside the port without the key’s lock being completed”, he said.
He continued,” As at today, I don’t think there are weigh bridges even on our highways. At toll gate, there was weigh bridge office there, Ikorodu road, there was a weigh bridge there when if you were going, they will weigh your load and if it was too much, they would turn you back or they would tell you to reduce the load you are carrying in the past.
“Let the government re-introduce the weigh bridges so that our truckloads will be standardized. I believe if they re-introduce it, they will tell all the truckers, look, the maximum load you will carry will not be more than 25 tonnes of the gross weight that is the content and the body of the trucks. If it is 25 tonnes, it will be okay but for a vehicle carrying 40 tonnes, it is too much”.
He however assured that they were trying to sensitize their members from their end ensuring that they had all their key’s lock in place and that their springs were in good condition adding that if one was going on the road and one broke down as a result of bad road which in turn caused accident on the highway, it could be understandable.
“What we can do is what we have started doing with our members, telling them to put their vehicles in order”, he said.
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