The Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC is contemplating the introduction of psychiatric test as one of the requirements for driving articulated vehicles in Nigeria. This is coming on the heels of yesterday’s tanker explosion and the ensuing inferno, in which a tanker laden with 44,000 litres of highly inflammable Premium Motor Spirit PMS also called petrol fell on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway in Lagos and emptied its content.

Eyewitnesses had reported that the tanker driver was struggling on high speed with another truck laden with iron rods and lost control in the process, which led to its fall and spilling of its content.

Sector Commander of the FRSC Lagos, Olusegun Ogungbemide, while speaking on the incident, disclosed that the FRSC would be left with the only choice of insisting on psychiatric test for drivers of articulated vehicles, which will be a major requirement to drive such class of vehicles on country’s major roads.

He noted that such a test had become expedient, given reports that both drivers were on a ‘supremacy race’ on the road, not minding their safety and the safety of other road users, which led to the accident.

“You can agree with me that no man in his right senses would carry a tanker laden with 44, 000 litres of highly inflammable substance like the PMS and be driving recklessly on the ever-busy Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, something must be wrong somewhere”, he argued.

He listed three major causes of road crashes in Nigeria to include: mechanical; which has to do with the state of the vehicles, environmental factors, which cover the state of the roads and human errors, which relate to the state of mind and conduct of the drivers themselves.

According to him, more than 80 per cent of the road crashes in the country are attributable to human error, which relate primarily to the state of minds and conduct of the drivers themselves.

He said: “Taking the current accident as a case in point; that portion of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway is in perfect condition, the vehicles from what we saw even while they were burning were also good, but you realise that the accident happened due to human error because both drivers were struggling for space, which was avoidable”

The National Emergency Management Agency NEMA had reported that the incident, which occured at 9:15 am had badly affected the structures of the bridge on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway linking the Murtala Mohammed Internation Airport where the tanker explosion happened.

The accident occurred opposite the Lagos State Fire Service Station located at the Toyota Bus stop, along Oshodi Apapa Expressway, Lagos, which led to a prompt intervention of the fire service personnel.

The Acting Zonal Coordinator, South-West Zonal Office of NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, while giving an update on the incident, said the road has been badly affected.

“The road structures are badly affected. Efforts are on to carry out integrity tests on them, especially the pillars of the bridge linking the Airport from Apapa – Oshodi way,” Farinloye had also said.

The coordinator had earlier said that the fire incident occurred when the tanker, laden with PMS, crashed on the side with another trailer loaded with iron rods, while in motion.

Officials of the fire service had successfully separated the tanker body from the head and combated the inferno, as it was also reported that no life was lost.