With the two recent major accidents involving his buses which claimed 22 lives in Abia and Bayelsa states, management of Peace Mass Transit (PMT) yesterday threatened to henceforth sack and prosecute any driver that consumes alcohol while driving on the roads.
The company reeled other disciplinary as well as precautionary measures against drivers to checkmate the increasing spate of road traffic accidents on the nation’s highways involving their buses.
The Managing Director of the company said this during the National Press Conference cum Lunch of Defensive Driving Campaign against the backdrop of recent accidents involving the company’s buses said he would not tolerate any form of recklessness on the part of the drivers.
He disclosed that the company had concluded plans to carry out Alcoholic Text test for drivers of Peace Mass Transit on the roads, stating that any driver on the road that tests positive to Alcohol would be sacked and handed over to the police for prosecution.
He expressed dismay over the last two fatal accidents that involved buses of the company along Umuahia Express and Beyelsa Roads, which claimed the lives of many innocent passengers and drivers, disclosing that after the accidents, the Board and Management of the company has launched a campaign tagged” Defensive Driving” for over 3000 drivers of the company.
He said though it was unfortunate that the accidents happened and claimed many lives, investigations so far conducted revealed that his drivers were not culpable in the incidents as shown in the reports of the police and the Road Safety.
While re-stating his threat to sack any of his drivers that misbehaves, Maduka appealed to the public to learn how to accord respect to drivers to enable them serve them better, he urged customers to report promptly to the management of the company whenever any driver on the roads misbehaves.
He noted that at the point of employment of drivers PMT follow a set of standard, adding that her prospective drivers must have valid drivers, license, medical certificate of fitness from a government hospital, visual certificate report, drug test report and must be 31years of age but not more than 40 years.
“And such a person must have driven commercial vehicle for at least 5 years; amidst all these, priority is on married men. furthermore, prospective drivers must bring guarantors among who must who must be his immediate family member, religious head and community leader. A local Government ID letter is also a prerequisite.
We take time to verify all submissions before short listing anyone for interview. After our oral text, a practical test is conducted by a committee made up of a retired FRSC officer, 2 retired drivers, a psychologist , a retired traffic officer, and a mechanic engineer” he stated.
Mr Maduka further explained that every PMT driver must attend training four times in a year; first quarter,second quarter. third quarter, the last quarter, adding that each of these quarters, it is packaged in it is peculiarity.
“We have resource persons coming from training unit of the Federal Road Safety being the supervisory body of road transport sector, Industrial training Fund also partner with PMT on training, just as Automotive Companies who manufacture the vehicles also send resource persons from China, Dubai, South Africa and Japan.
“PMT patrol teams strategically located on all our routes for timely intervention in case of breakdown, accident and other unforeseen situations capable of interrupting the journey.
They engage on the-spot- assessment of drivers’ performance ; get feedback from customers on drivers’ on -road conduct and their , assessment of the PMT management team generally. PMT , the foremost transport to establish this kind of team, equipped members of the team with training members of team with training to execute multiple tasks excellently and be able to make good use of the first aid apparatus in their possession” he stated.
While expressing surprise over the involvement of Peace Mass Transit Buses in accidents in recent times despite the high safety record the company achieved in the industry, Maduka called on all well meaning Nigerians to avail them any other possible solution that they have not implemented” and we shall be willing to adopt for implementation” ends