By Jonas Agwu
As the Federal Road Safety Corps commences full enforcement of the compulsory use of speed limiting devices, meant to address the increasing speed- related road traffic crashes in the country, Nigerians should look forward to its positive effects. Excessive speed remains the number one causative factor, accounting for about 50 per cent of reported road traffic crashes in the country.
The September 1, 2015 enforcement date was agreed by the FRSC and its strategic partners who appealed for a shift in the enforcement date from June 1, to September 1, 2015 to enable them embark on adequate awareness as agreed during a one-day stakeholders forum held in Abuja
The forum had also agreed for FRSC and its partners to embark on massive awareness to secure public buy in. Government is also to set deadline for all imported vehicles and those manufactured in Nigeria to have speed limiters installed; while SON should demand in-plant cali- bration certificate from manufacturers of speed limiting devices meant for use in Nigeria, among others. The shift was equally to enable other logistics necessary for the implementation to be put in place by partners such as Standard Organisation of Nigeria, National Automotive Council of Nigeria and FRSC amongst others.
Since the shift in date, series of events and machiner- ies have been put in place to ensure a smooth sail for the scheme which if properly im- plemented by the Corps and its strategic partners and sup- ported by the motoring pub- lic, should result in about 30 percent crash reduction, go- ing by the fact that commer- cial vehicles presently account for over 30 percent of crashes and 40 percent of deaths .
When the next phase involv- ing other categories of vehicles such as private cars takes off, another level of reduction may be achieved so long as all the loopholes are plugged .The events which took place include series of consulta- tion between FRSC and its partners such as NUPENG/ PTD, NARTO and NURTW.
There were also advocacies such as the sponsored Total Nigeria awareness campaign held in the Federal Capital Territory during which about 30 vehicles were installed with speed limiters as a dem- onstration of the Corporate Social Responsibility of Total . Across the country, similar events were held, including ongoing advocacies by the FRSC divisions
This is our my friend featured his concern on the issue, “Dear Jonas, let me start by appreciating your efforts in creating awareness through your numerous write-ups which I have passionately followed since you started with the Sun Newspaper and Leadership Newspaper as far back as 2008 when you were still in Abuja as the Sector Commander, FCT.
“Let me however draw your attention to the soon to be enforced speed limiting device which I acknowledge will go a long way in addressing excessive speeding which has caused so much pains to families and the nation at large. As one whose passion for safer roads knows no bounds, I must inform you that I am daily in touch with concerned Nigerians who have wondered if truly, you have the hope to enforce by September 1, as reported in the dailies.
“I have no issues with that date. But please, I need you to please provide me the details of the vendors and their spread across the country, their capacities, the cost for installation and how long it takes to install a limiter in one vehicle. I also need to know how much training your men have gone through to equip them with the skills and knowledge for detecting tampering of installed systems as was the case in places like Kenya.
“These questions are necessary because I know that the success of these schemes lies in adequate preparation through well orchestrated awareness that will address all the grey areas. As you and your colleagues work towards making our roads truly safe, please kindly rethink and ensure you guys do what you did with the seat belt campaigns which succeeded because you took time to embark on nationwide awareness such that even before you commenced enforcement over 12 years ago, every motorist in the country knew the importance.”
As we ponder on the issues raised by this reader, I am excited that some of the fleet operators and transport organisations have expressed willingness to comply with the September 1, 2015 deadline by installing the required limiter which conforms to specifications as contained in the approved standards by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria.
• Agwu is an Assistant Corps Marshal with the Federal ROAD Safety Corps.