February 7, 2022

Speeding, major cause of road accidents — FRSC

Cross River transport agency seeks partnership with FRSC

By Theodore Opara

RATHER than be a blessing to Nigerians, the recent improvement on the nation’s highways has become a major cause of worrying to the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, as data from the agency shows that over-speeding accounts for major cause of road traffic accidents in the country.

The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, while speaking to Journalists in his office in Abuja stated that the enforcement of speed limit is the matter of the moment for the agency to save lives of the Motoring publics.

He said: “Going by the high of number road accidents ascribed to speed, will it not be right to say the FRSC crusade of encouraging motorists to install speed limiting device in their vehicles has failed? This is the matter of the moment.

“This is the year of enforcement and full compliance with the speed limiting device. We’ve seen from the data that 52 per cent of the accidents recorded in Nigeria today are speed-induced crashes. Innocent people are dying and many of them are lone crashes.

“Why? The roads are getting better. For instance, the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the completed portions look like runway to motorists. People go on testing the capacity of their vehicles.

“And you know road traffic crash requires just the minutest fraction of a second of lack of concentration; just changing a CD and running into a pothole without having a firm grip on the steering could take the moving vehicle up and result in a serious accident.

“The corps marshal said because of the speed, it is like an aircraft taking off. Vehicles and aircraft move in the same way. The only difference in the aircraft is that the lever is lifted and it takes off and continues.

“Tyre blowout will make the vehicle to be lifted but because there is no mechanism to propel it up, it comes down and continues; it somersaults either vertically or horizontally. That is why it accounts for 52 per cent of road crashes in the country today.”

According to him, the FRSC management has taken a decision to focus on this.

“We have already given instructions to the field commands to commence full enforcement and compliance with the installation of the speed limiting device. There are more than enough registered speed-limiting device vendors; the prices have crashed because it is being manufactured in Nigeria.

“The technology has been transferred. There is no going back. I must commend the organised transport sector such as the ABC, God is Good and those that have complied. The problem has to do with commercial drivers. They are the ones carrying the larger members of the public.

“We need to address this first.  In this first quarter, we have raised the level of awareness; even all my activities from the beginning of the year have been focused on the speed limiting device.

“In my address for the end of the year review, the key thing I focused on was the speed limiting device. Let’s commend the government; the roads are getting better nationwide Lagos-Ibadan road will be completed this year.”

The Second Niger Bridge construction has gone far; Enugu-Awka-Onitsha is under full reconstruction; Enugu-Port Harcourt; Abuja-Kaduna-Kano; Kano-Maiduguri are undergoing construction.”

The FRSC boss noted that: “The presidential directive on the device was 2016; that is six years ago. We must be serious about the compliance.

“Ideally, we should be getting to about 98 per cent compliance level now and start looking at getting the private vehicle owners to comply. But we have not got the expected level of compliance from the commercial drivers. All this has to do with lives of human beings. If we don’t do it, we’re in trouble.”

What is the penalty for failure to install the speed limiting device?

We are still a bit humane for this period. If you don’t install, your vehicle is impounded. You will go to the authorized vendor, pay the prescribed fee and the vendor will come and install it in your vehicle. There is a portal to check those that have complied.

The patrol team only needs to check to verify. We will continue to engage the NURTW and other transport unions for full compliance. I must commend the multinationals such as the Nigerian Breweries, Guinness and Dangote; they have complied. Dangote has a fleet of over 7,000 vehicles and they have complied.

On his assessment of the infrastructural support from the government to the FRSC  under his current regime?

This regime since 2015 has been very supportive. First, in 2016, they approved intervention funds that led to the procurement of about 343 vehicles. There was another approval in 2020, which we are working on now to inject more vehicles to support the operations of the corps.

On infrastructure, this is the administration that has devoted more support for the FRSC in terms of release of funds for infrastructural development. Within the seven and a half years, we have constructed, inaugurated and equipped 16 state sector commands.

All the abandoned projects in the academy have been fully completed. We now have the four training institutions running; for the road marshal assistants, we have the training school in Jos, to be relocated soon to Shendam.

For the Marshal Inspectorate, that was the one inaugurated by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo last year, which was built for the corps by the people and government of Delta State.

All the infrastructure in our academy has been fully completed. We have received the approval of the National University Commission to commence post-graduate degree programmes. All the facilities required for the training of cadets at the post-graduate school are on the ground.

My focus when I came on board was infrastructural development. Every landlord continues to increase their rent. This affects our projections. With these 16 offices fully built, we are out of rent payment.

We appreciate Mr President for providing the funds for the projects. We are landlord on our own now. And these are strategic structures in different parts of the country.

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