THE Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) appears bent on enforcing the introduction of the Speed Limiting Device (SLD) come September 1, 2016 in spite of furious opposition from some quarters, particularly transporters and members of the House of Representatives.
In fact, the Lawmakers called for the outright suspension of the scheme, arguing that the Commission should settle for a more technologically-updated approach rather than embracing the speed limiting device which, they argued, had been dumped by many countries because they “do not work”.
The transporters threatened to go on strike should the FRSC go ahead with this scheme, which was at first billed to take off on April 1, 2016.
They insist that it is the FRSC that needs to adopt technology (such as the Spider Technology) to enable them detect overspeeding vehicles from long distances. They also argue that the cost of the speed limiter (N36,000 per unit) is prohibitive and the scheme is a ploy by the promoters to enrich themselves in collaboration with contractors whom, they allege, have already been selected.
We are in support of any well thought-through idea or strategy that will reduce the high rate of accidents and attendant fatalities on our roads. We are solidly behind anything that can be done to get our road users; especially haulage operators, transporters and government officials to drive within the approved speed limits.
For this to work, it will require all stakeholders working cooperatively to achieve better road safety rates in Nigeria. The FRSC will have to improve on their use of technology such as the deployment of Spider and other modern devices to track over-speeders.
It will also include getting road users to comply with statutory speed limits, even if it means using the speed limiters. Trucks, trailers and tankers, in particular, must be compelled to install speed limiters for greater road safety.
It has long been observed that two major reasons account for high accident rates all over the world: overspeeding and wrong overtaking. If drivers cannot discipline themselves to drive within acceptable limits, then they must be compelled to do so.
However, we call for the removal of all loopholes that may pave the way for corruption or graft to take place in the scheme. No effort should be spared to make the device more readily available and affordable.
If the law-enforcement agents take their work more seriously, the armed robbers, assassins and kidnappers who may take advantage of speed limiters to catch up with targeted victims will be caught in most cases before or after they strike.
We urge the FRSC to work harder and gain the confidence and cooperation of highway users to ensure we all drive within statutory speed limits.
Speed kills. We must kill speed.