As the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, commences the enforcement of speed limiters on commercial vehicles across the country tomorrow, the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive Officer of FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, has asked commercial vehicle drivers to show understanding and cooperate with the agency, saying that the enforcement was in the interest of all Nigerians.
The Corps Marshal told Vanguard Motoring that his men would give the enforcement a human face by starting with advisory enforcement from tomorrow till the end of the year. He however, noted that as from the beginning of next year, the Corps would carry out full enforcement of speed limiter violation by impounding their vehicles until they install the device.
Said he: “We are starting with advisory enforcement. When we stop a vehicle and find out that it has not complied by installing the device we will book the driver and ask him to go and install the device, but without a fine. If he fails, we would be left with no option than to impound the vehicle and fine the driver”, he said.
Accident rates and casualties
The Corps Marshal regretted that despite all efforts by the FRSC to reduce accident rates and casualties across the country a lot of lives were still being lost to road traffic accidents in the country.
He recalled that over 40 lives were lost to road accidents recently in three crashes in different location in the country, adding that most of the accidents happened at night and due to over speeding.
Dr. Oyeyemi, who expressed worry over the development, regretted that despite the clear evidence that speeding has been responsible for most road accidents in the country, and needed to be prevented regretted that some people were still kicking against their efforts to check the menace with the introduction of speed limiter.
He said: “I can tell you, that all the people calling for spider technology, which simply mean the use of camera, should stop deceiving Nigerians,”.
“It is not the FRSC that should install speed cameras. Even if speed cameras are installed on the road, have they considered the issue of vandalisation by unpatriotic elements.
“All those sponsoring spider technology are not sincere to Nigerians as they may be looking at their business interests rather than safety of Nigerian road users. My concern in the whole thing is to save lives as 65 percent of the crashes on Nigerians roads involve commercial vehicles and if I can prevent this, I would be satisfied.”
The FRSC boss pointed out that non of the stakeholders in the road transport sector kicked against the introduction of the speed limit device since it started sensitisation in 2014. He added that it has been designed in such a way that all stakeholders were carried along and a technical committee for maximum road speed limiter for motor vehicles was set up including Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Nigerian Society of Engineers National Automotive Design and Development Council, National Automotive Technicians Association, and Automedic.
Others are Federal Road Safety Corps, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, and two professors from leading Nigerian universities.
Dr. Oyeyemi also recalled that their research has shown that companies which installed speed limiters in their vehicle recorded far less crashes and even when they are involved in accidents, the severity is usually less. He identified such companies to include ABC Transport, God is Good Motors, Major Oil Marketers among others.
He said: “This is a quiet revolution that is ongoing. Have you asked why safety conscious companies have been installing speed limit device before now? It has been discovered that those who install hardly get involved in accidents and even when they do, the severeity is usually less.
“My concern is to save lives of road users in Nigeria, save the huge investments of vehicle owners and there is no going back on this”, he added.
He re-iterated that speed limit for all buses in Nigeria is 90 kilometers per hour but that the speed limit device is caliberated to 95 kilometers per hour and no matter how you accelerate, the vehicle would not go beyond the speed limit.