…Charges Transportation Minister On National Transport Policy
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT Nigeria) has commiserated with families of commuters who lost their lives in the train collision that occurred in Lagos on Thursday, even as extends its prayers for a speedy recovery for the injured commuters involved.
In a press statement issued on Friday, President of CILT Nigeria, Mrs Mfon Usoro called on the Federal Government to ensure adequate rail infrastructures across the country, in order to prevent future recurrence of such accidents.
According to her, railway level crossings are essential safety infrastructure for the free flow of transportation where there are intersections between two or more modes of transport.
“The road is designed, constructed, and maintained by a public authority separate from the Nigerian Railway who owns, maintains the rail tracks and operates the trains.
“Best practice dictates that rail specific infrastructure such as barriers, gate house, rails and level crossings with adequate signage and audio warnings be provided and maintained by the Railway Authority.
The Institute recommends the following measures to Government for consideration and implementation.
Short Term Measures
1. There should be clear demarcation of responsibilities and efficient coordination between the road authority and the rail authority in managing intersections.
2. The party responsible for funding the safe operations of the infrastructure should be revisited.
The present system of shared financial responsibility for the provision, manning and maintenance of the safety infrastructure at intersections appears cumbersome and leaves room for lack of accountability.
3. With proper dimensioning of roles, adequate funding should be provided for in the budget of the Nigerian Railway.
4. There are minimum safe distances that must be observed at stops and intersections. A train requires a minimum of 320m adequate distance (safety over-run). This implies that to stop a train in motion, the driver must apply the brake about 320m to the stop point. It is an extremely difficult feat to manoeuver a successful emergency stop for a moving train with shorter safety over-run. This underscores the imperative of installing functional and well manned safety infrastructure at every infrastructure.
5. Erection of barriers
6. Construction of road bumps/speed retarders
7. Presence of law enforcement agents at the level crossings to compliment the work of the gate keepers.
8. Aggressive safety awareness campaigns targeted at commuters by the relevant agencies like the FRSC and State traffic agencies.
Long Term Solutions
1. Reduce the prevalence of intersections.
2. Separation of the routes for rail tracks and roads. New constructions should as far as is practicable not include intersections in designs. Flyovers or tunnels are preferred options.
“We commend the FGN for the speedy set up of an investigative panel on the accident.
The CILT re-iterates its call for the Government to set up an independent body that will be tasked with investigation of all transport related accidents as recommended in the National Transport Policy.
“It is not best practice to expect the agencies directly or indirectly involved in accidents to investigate itself. The establishment of the proposed National Transport Safety Board aligns with global practice and is long overdue.
“We call on the Honourable Federal Minister of Transportation, most respectfully, to submit the National Transport Policy to the FEC for approval” the press statement reads.
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) is the world’s leading international professional body for all sectors of the Logistics and Transport Industry.
CILT is a rich resource for provision of authoritative views on systems and policies relating to Logistics and Transport for government and industry and have highly knowledgeable, skilled and experienced professionals capable of enhancing efficiency in line with best global practices.