Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Katsina Command, says it is set to begin enforcement of the new passenger spacing guidelines in commercial vehicles aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus.
Mr Sule Tanimu, FRSC Sector Commander in the state, disclosed this on Monday in Katsina during a meeting with transport unions, fleet operators and other stakeholders on post lockdown inter-state transport operations.
Tanimu said the meeting was to inform, enlighten and seek the support of stakeholders on the new policy.
He said the measure was in line with COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on safety measures by transport operators in the country.
He said: “It has become imperative for the FRSC to call a stakeholders’ meeting to intimate all players in the sector, including transport unions, fleet operators, among others, on the moderlities for their operations.
“13-seater bus, which hitherto carries 13 persons, should now carry nine passengers, while 10-seater bus should now carry seven passengers.
“Seven-seater bus will be allowed to carry five persons, four-seater bus now to carry three passengers,” he said.
Tanimu explained that the enforcement would begin with the discharge of excess passengers from vehicles flouting the policy.
He said that motorists must provide hand sanitiser for the safety of passengers, while passengers must wear face masks before being allowed into motor parks.
The sector commander said that FRSC would collaborate with security agents to ensure strict compliance.
In his remarks, Dikko Abdulkadir, Assistant Secretary, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state, said that they had begun enlightenment for their members on the PTF decision on COVID-19.
Abdukkadir solicited commuters’ understanding over the anticipated increase in fare due to the new passenger spacing arrangement in the state.
Also, the Operations Manager, Katsina State Transport Authority, Ladan Suleiman, said that the organisation had already started complying with the policy.
Suleiman said that the development had resulted in 70 per cent increment on its inter-state transport fare.
Edited By: Sam Oditah and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)
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