By NBF News

WEST African regional ministers of infrastructure, transport and energy have approved new provisions embodying a supplementary act stipulating the standards for heavy duty goods transport vehicles plying public roads in countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The move, it was explained yesterday by the ECOWAS commission, was made to protect West Africa's road infrastructure from degradation by overloaded vehicles.

Cross-border complaints have heightened lately over the fact that poor conditions of roads are being worsened by the absence of weight control of heavy duty vehicles by national agencies of member states.

The act drafted yesterday at the end of the minister's convergence obliges member-countries to install equipment and devices to monitor compliance such as weigh bridges, weighing scales and dimension gauges along road corridors including facilities that generate annual road freight forĀ  heavy duty vehicles of over 200,000 tonnes.

In the same vein, operators of platforms such as ports, logistics depots, rail road, warehousing, industrial and storage facilities that generate heavy duty traffic of over 200,000 tonnes are also required to equip such platforms with the facilities for the inspection of the dimensions, weight and axle-load of heavy duty vehicles loading in their domains.

As proposed, the supplementary act relating to the harmonization of standards and procedures for the control of dimensions, weight and axle-load of goods vehicles is a complement to existing regional instruments to monitor vehicle tonnage and improve safety on the roads.