Expert offers solutions for fuel tanker problems on South African roads

Expert offers solutions for fuel tanker problems on South African roads. Picture: Reuters/Paul Lorgerie

Expert offers solutions for fuel tanker problems on South African roads. Picture: Reuters/Paul Lorgerie

Published Nov 8, 2023


Shell Companies South Africa’s country chairperson, Hloniphizwe Mtolo, discussed strategies for handling fuel tanker problems as the country approaches the holiday season.

Mtolo said recent incidents involving fuel tankers highlighted the urgency of prioritising safety, exploring alternative transportation methods, and fostering transparent communication with the public.

The spate of road accidents involving fuel tankers since late last year had raised significant concerns.

He explained that these accidents jeopardised the lives of the public, other road users, and truck drivers, while also inflicting damage on our vital infrastructure.

Moreover, the spectre of fuel theft compounded the problem, posing security threats to individuals and businesses alike.

“To effectively confront these challenges, we must unite behind safety measures, embrace innovative and safer transportation methods, and establish an open dialogue with the public at large.

“Importantly, the safety of all stakeholders must take precedence. Under no circumstances can we afford to compromise on safety, whether it’s in the aftermath of an accident or during routine transport operations. Comprehensive training for truck drivers, meticulous vehicle maintenance, road signs, and speed limit compliance are non-negotiable in ensuring the well-being of everyone involved,” said Mtolo.

He said strict adherence to safety protocols was imperative, with companies steadfastly enforcing these regulations to underscore the paramount importance of safety.

“In the spirit of the festive season, transparent communication must serve as the cornerstone of our approach. Every industry, including liquid fuels, must demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of our citizens. By communicating the robust measures we are taking to ensure safety and prevent accidents, we can foster trust and confidence among the public in our ability to effectively address these pressing concerns.”

He explained that fuel tankers are intricate vehicles that necessitate regular maintenance for safe and efficient operation.

He also highlighted the importance of rigorous maintenance, accompanied by thorough pre-trip safety checks conducted by drivers.

Regular inspections and upkeep of vital components such as fuel tanks, hoses, pumps, and valves are pivotal in minimising accident risks.

Mtolo shared a message with motorists and pedestrians with important suggestions:

* Prioritise safety by avoiding leaking tankers, irrespective of your understanding of the product carried.

* Prevent ignition risks by refraining from smoking or carrying potential ignition sources near leaking tankers.

* Steer clear of burning vehicles, regardless of size.

* Maintain a safe distance of at least 1km from burning tankers to avoid potential material propelled by tyre explosions.

* Contact emergency services if no response is evident.

The Star

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