The Menace Of Killer Containers



How long will containers fall off flat beds of trucks and kill motorists? This is a poser for law enforcement agencies and other relevant authorities, given the frequent cases of containers falling and crushing motorists and pedestrians in Lagos and other states. If those in authority have feelings, they should have put  measures in place to deal with these unacceptable tragedies.

We are yet to come to terms with the alarming rate containers that are not fastened to the bed of trucks slip off and fall on vehicles around it in busy traffic. The latest tragic incident happened on Thursday, 6 June, 2013 at Ikeja. Two persons lost their lives when two containers fell off a truck and landed on an Eko Meat van on the busy Agege Motor Road. Whatever caused the accident is immaterial, but the damage would have been minimal if the containers were properly latched to the bed of the truck conveying them.

This blatant disregard for the safety of other road users by those who convey these killer containers resulted in another near tragedy in Ogun State barely 24 hours after the Lagos incident occurred. In the Ogun incident, the containers fell off two separate trucks at different places on Friday, 7 June, 2013, but no casualty was reported.

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In November, 2012, at least three persons were crushed to death when a 40-foot containerized vehicle fell on a Mazda car on the Badagry-Seme road in Lagos. Similarly, in February 2011, a truck conveying a 14-foot container fell and killed a man at the junction of the New Garage bus stop along Ikorodu Road in Lagos. And these are just few instances.  These incidents have become so frequent that the authorities must rise up to the challenge and stop the menace. Some of the trucks involved in these incidents are rickety and not road worthy.  Are the authorities so powerless that they can’t clamp down on owners of trucks  that convey containers without securely latching them to the bed of the trucks? Or are they so daft that they can’t see the danger posed by these trucks and the containers they convey? Does it take rocket science to check these harbingers of death on our roads?

We suggest that the Lagos State Government should immediately set up a task force to impound containers that are not properly fastened to the trucks that convey them. If this is the only way to rein in the killer truck drivers and their containers, so be it. Besides, law enforcement agencies should not allow trucks bearing containers that are not properly fastened to the trucks leave the seaports, warehouses, factories or where ever. This way, the trucks conveying containers and their devilish drivers won’t cause such cheap death in the city.

We have had enough of these avoidable tragedies on our busy roads. It is about time the Federal Government fixed its dilapidated roads in Lagos State. The bad roads also contribute to accidents involving trucks conveying containers. Ironically, it is these trucks conveying goods from the ports that damage the roads.

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