The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has launched the new commercial drivers’ license with security features that require a mandatory medical certification of drivers before issuance.
According to the Corps Marshall of the commission, Mr Osita Chidoka, the new license has security features, intelligence camera and biometrics that will mandate a medical certification for all commercial drivers before issuance.
He noted that the new license will be issued to commercial drivers after verified medical certificates on hearing and eyesight.
Hypertension and blood sugar level among other requirements.
Statistics reeled out by the Corps Marshall showed that up to 40 per cent of road accidents between 2007 and 2010 across the country resulted to almost 13,000 deaths involving commercial drivers.
This is the reason for the launch of the new commercial drivers’ license that will require all commercial drivers to present their medical verification before being issued the new license.
Also to be mandated for commercial drivers is a compulsory standard driving school check and a yearly retraining programme to be handled by the drivers’ unions.
The issuance of new drivers’ licenses will commence immediately as stated by the FRSC, while all old licenses will be phased out by September 2013.
This new developments was welcomed by key players in the transport sector such as president, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Alhaji Najeem Yasin and the Special Assistant to the Minister of Transport, Dikko Bala.
The Corps Marshall said other categories of licenses will also be released shortly.
It is believed that when fully in use, the new license will build a good data base of drivers and vehicles and help curb the high rate of accidents involving commercial vehicles in the country.
Members of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) have been challenged to assist the police in curbing the spate of violence in the country
The Inspector General of Police Mr Mohammed Abubakar, threw down the gauntlet at a meeting with the transport workers in Abuja, to explain how they can collaborate with security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and property on the roads.
According to the police boss, the transport workers have turned the motors parks across the nation into criminal spots where hoodlums hide, various illegal drinks and drugs are sold.
He called for caution from the transporters and sought their support and collaboration, fighting the menace in the parks.
The IGP also defended the removal of road blocks on Nigerian roads, saying corrupt policemen used them to harass and exploit Nigerians.
The Lagos State Government on Friday ordered members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to vacate motor parks across the state immediately.
In a joint press conference by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa and the Commissioner for Information, Aderemi Ibirogba, the government also ordered road transport workers’ union to operate from their registered offices and stop to hinder operators of commercial transport in the state.
The government also banned the collection of tolls on roads and highways by touts.
Mr Opeifa told journalists that the ban was in accordance with the provisions of the new road traffic law.
He said “henceforth, union activities are no longer allowed in all the garages in the state; what they need to do now is to operate the way other unions in the state operate.
“They are meant to be in their offices; we recognise the right for them to associate but we believe that the motor parks should be made conducive to those who want to carry out their business of commuting in the state.
“No union member should be seen collecting money from transporters; it is illegal and we won’t take this any longer,” he said.
Mr Opeifa said the government would re-register motor parks in the state while unauthorised vehicles and illegal parks would not be allowed in the state’s transport system.