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On the 23 June, 2015, the leader of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Moses Ucheche raised a motion about the menace created by trucks packed along the Murtala Mohammed Highway, Calabar and how it threatens the lives and property of the Cross River People. The motion was welcoming as every member of the House gave insights on the problems and how it can be averted.
Driving along Murtala Mohammed Highway, Calabar, what immediately welcomes you to the once beautiful Calabar is the gridlock caused by tanker drivers who pack their trucks along the highway. It has become so bad that the trucks are packed along the road without any form of remorse what so ever by the drivers who come for petroleum products in the State Capital.
It may please the Cross River State government to know that the People of the State have experienced great pains caused by the tankers, trucks and other heavy duty vehicles. Clearly noticeable is the relics of abandoned truck and the various accidents they have wreaked as a result of reckless driving, failed breaks, and uncontrollable speed by the drivers.
The situation has become so bad in most cases the trucks cause gridlock in Odukpani down to Calabar, causing great pain to motorist who at times spend endless hours for the trucks to leave the way.
Apart from the gridlock it causes, the trucks have aided the swift destruction of our roads. With their products, diesel which drop on the asphalted road destroys the tar and also makes the road slippery for road users which results to accidents along our highways.
As the spoiling of our roads and the many gridlock, these heavy duty drivers live very recklessly. It is a proven fact that anywhere heavy duty vehicles are parked, there is a high rate of brothels, liquor joints and various intoxicants which are harmful to human health.
After a careful study of the truck drivers, it is also a proven fact that they rarely sleep which results to the many accidents on our high ways. Attempt to struggle the road with them is tantamount to death. These truck drivers do not have any iota of respect for human life seemly because they are the “kings”of the road.
It is very pathetic the number of people that have been wasted by truck drivers is on the increase. It is worthy of note that if immediate steps are not taken it may result to a mishap, an inferno where lives and property may be lost and the State may be thrown into darkness as a result of negligence on the government.
In addressing these very disturbing issue, the government must as a matter of urgency build a park for the trucks. Place a penalty for anyone who violates the law and also place a toil gate on the truck drivers for packing. It will go a long way in maintaining the pack an generating revenue for government.
Regular fitness test needs to be conducted to ascertain if the drivers are free from narcotics and other intoxicating liquor. A team has to be in-charge to regularly inspect the trucks, to check if their trucks are in good shape.
Prince Thomas Abi Jr.
Is a Public Affairs Analyst/ Social Commentator