From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
In line with the policy of annual recertification of commercial bus drivers under the employ of Peace Mass Transit Ltd, to ascertain their fitness, over two thousand employee drivers of the company will be retrained by officials of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and National Drug Law Enforcement agency (NDLEA).
The training which will last for one month commenced at the Emene factory headquarters of the company in Enugu.
The schedule of the training entails that about 50 drivers will be retrained on a daily basis.
Speaking at flag- off, the Chairman of Peace Mass Transit, Evangelist Samuel Maduka Onyishi said the company considers most the safety of its passengers and that is why it has become a managent policy to organise the re certification exercise annually in addition to prompt maintenance of their vehicles.
In his own speech, the Enugu State Sector Commander of FRSC, Mr. Ogbonnaya Kalu Oko stated that the training was for defensive driving and safety regulation, noting that Peace Mass Transit was the biggest transport company in the country which carries thousands of persons and goods and that the FRSC was always concerned when any vehicle of the company was involved in road crash.
In lecture by Mr. Eyeuche Ome, the Principal Staff Officer, Drug Demand Reduction Unit, NDLEA Enugu state Command, entitled “Alcohol/Drug use and Road Safety: A Growing Concern”, declared that 40, 000 deaths occur on Nigeria roads annually, according to the global status report published in 2018 by World Health Organisation.
He blamed some of the road crashes on the use of psychoactive drugs such as cocaine, heroin, alcohol, coffee, tobacco among others by drivers, noting that any substance that affects the mental ability and behaviour of a person could lead to impaired driving by delaying reaction time and information processing.
The NDLEA officer called for the establishment of drug-driving laws and regulations to make I unlawful to drive while on any of the unlawful drugs.