Handful of travellers in the South-eastern part of the country, Peace Mass Transit (PMT) is a blessing. The bus company renowned for its large fleet has crashed its fares across all routes.
The Peace Mass Transit Chairman, Dr Samuel Maduka Onyishi, who has seen it all in the transport business, started as a driver and today, he has carved a niche for his company which is now a huge success.
And determined to sustain his efforts, Dr Onyishi has embarked on the training and re-training of his drivers in every quarter to ensure they are in tune with the dictates of the business which thrives more on safety.
At the last quarter of the training which ended at the weekend at the Emene, Enugu PMT headquarters, a top Manager of the company, Mr Sunday Tabugbo Igwegbe, revealed the secret of the success of the company.
“The most important aspect of the secret of our progress and success is our trust in God. The chairman respects nothing but God, honour nothing but God, worship nothing but God. That is why every 12:00 noon, we pray here and every where our offices are all over the country,” the HSE manager said.
At the training ceremony of 200 drivers of PMT with theme: “Defensive driving as a habit for all motorists,” were the Zonal Commanding Officer of FRSC, R9 Enugu, the managing director of PMT, the executive director, PMT, senior officers of the FRSC, Enugu Zonal Command, managers of different units of the Peace Mass Group and drivers.
According to Igwegbe, the last quarter training programme of their drivers by the Federal Road safety Corps (FRSC) was aimed and directed at keeping their drivers informed of the need of defensive driving as a habit for all motorists.
“At the end of the training, drivers are expected to imbibe the habit of good conduct, safer drive on our highways and having knowledge of relevant traffic laws.
“In the mind of my chairman, Peace Group Limited is to maintain zero tolerance to accident on our roads or maintain accident-free operation or reduced it to the barest minimum.
“It is in this regard that the chairman encouraged by the management team organized various types of training programmes in order to stop causes of road crashes which include over-speeding, over-confidence, dangerously over-taking, bad habit of using cell phone while driving, driving without due care and attention on bad road and bend, weather condition, against alcohol and drugs (HD), over age and tiredness. All the above are undo process in driving,” he pointed out.
He noted that their training was peculiar and unique because of the caliber of extra-qualified trainers and resource persons drawn from retired senior police officers, senior serving officers of FRSC and VIO to impact purposeful knowledge on their drivers.
He also disclosed that in their efforts to maintain a road-free accident or reduce it to the barest minimum, the management has made more provisions apart from training, which include:
“An intensive health clinic where driver’s health is checked and eye test is also carried out; a workshop where a good maintenance culture is provided; the management have also fixed on every of our fleet speed limiter so as to ensure that our driver do not exceed approved speed limit; our patrol men are not left out, they are on the watch for black spots and strategic pot-holes on all our routes to warn our drivers; the company has also provided a breathalyzer to check a drunken driver on the highway; recruitment of drivers is carried out by a qualified and a competent human resource officer of the company.”
Igwegbe also noted that their chairman was having drivers in mind at their retirement as he gives them a bus each, adding that “the fitness of the worker is ensured and guaranteed as we arrange the end of year recreational activities; we have procured more vehicles to meet the demand of our customers.”
In a chat with Oriental News after the training, the Zonal Commanding Officer of FRSC, Zone RS 9 Headquarters, Enugu, Samuel Obayemi, commended the efforts of the management of Peace Mass Transit for deeming it fit to regularly train their drivers.
“It is an attempt to let them do what is expected of them when they go on the road. Transport companies invest in the vehicles they make use of, so it is expected that those who drive these vehicles are properly trained, not just to maintain the vehicles because they are in business. Of course, they have to ensure the safety of lives and property of those who use their vehicles from one place to the other,” he said.
The Enugu FRSC boss advised the drivers who were trained to put into practice what they learnt in the course of their training.
“It is something they have been doing regularly and we tend to re-emphasize what they already know about driving. Remember this period is the time that a lot of people will like to over-speed, a lot of people will like to over-load their vehicles and a lot of people would like to undertake as many trips as possible and over-speeding is rampant in this time. If they have consideration for other road users and other drivers on the road, by undergoing this training, of course, crashes will be reduced on the road,” he said.
He was hopeful that when they get back to the road the impact of the training would begin to reflect on the drivers, saying that “if the crashes reduced and the figure is less than what we had last year we will say that what we had done had impacted on them positively; we have their track records, we have their data, so we monitor them to see their progress.”