FRSC enforces COVID-19 guidelines on interstate travel in Rivers


The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Rivers says it has started enforcing the COVID-19 guidelines on interstate travel in the interest of public health.

FRSC Sector Commander in Rivers, Corp Commander Salisu Galadunci, stated this during a strategic stakeholders meeting with transport unions and fleet operators in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Galadunci said that the enforcement became necessary following flagrant abuse of COVID-19 guidelines by drivers and members of the public.

He said that the FRSC had decided to enter into a binding agreement with transport unions and fleet operators to ensure compliance with Coronavirus prevention measures.

“This pact will regulate their operations within garages and vehicles embarking on interstate travels.

“In other states, FRSC commands have moved from mere public education to enforcement of strategies, we shall not be an exception,” he said.

The sector commander said that to ensure social distancing, 13 seater buses will now take nine passengers, 10 seater vehicles will carry seven while those with seven seats will carry five passengers.

“Four seater saloon vehicles will take three passengers, luxury buses will henceforth carry only four passengers per row, this will amount to 50 per cent of its loading capacity,” he said.

Galadunci further stated that transport firms and motor park unions should acquire thermometers to ensure prompt temperature checks before commuters are allowed into their terminals.

He stressed that all intercity travels should be initiated from registered terminals to enable effective passenger screening.

The FRSC official also urged transport operators to provide hand washing equipment in their terminals, saying, “wearing of face masks is compulsory at the terminals”

“FRSC officials have been cautioned against indiscriminate abuse of power in the process of enforcement of the COVID-19 guidelines,” he said.

NAN reports that representatives of transport unions present at the meeting signed the code of conduct agreement for interstate travel.

Meanwhile, some transport operators in the state have decried poor passenger patronage arising from the increase in the cost of transportation.

One of them, Lucky Mmadu, representative of J.C Transit said the firm charged N15,000 for Port Harcourt to Abuja, a journey that previously went for N7,500.

He also said that traveling from Port Harcourt to Onitsha now cost N3,000 instead of N1,800 which used to be the cost.

Mmadu said the price difference was to enable transport firms recoup loses incurred while complying with the COVID-19 guidelines.