How do we reduce road accidents? It is by installing speed limiters in vehicles to place a cap on speeding, says Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi. He tells ADEYINKA ADERIBIGBE that the Speed Limiter Device (SLD) look s promising as more motorists embrace the device. The enforcement began penultimate Saturday.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) kept faith with the October 1, dateline for enforcement of speed device in vehicles across the country.
The corps’ rank and file were on major highways on a stop-and-check of commercial vehicles in compliance with the directive.
The Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, and other stakeholders in the transportation sector on September 26, in Abuja, resolved to begin the enforcement of speed limiters on October 1. The limiter is an antidote to road accidents, which have assumed a phenomenal dimension in the country.
An executive summary of the first week of enfiorcement made available to The Nation by FRSC showed that 22, 908 vehicles were checked in the first week of the enforcement. Of this figure, only 1,164 vehicles had the SLD installed in their vehicles, meaning 21,744 vehicles were not with the device, the summary signed by Oyeyemi revealed.
The FRSC chief believed the SLD remained the only tool to aid a drop in accident rate across the country.
He said the tool would help the agency achieve the United Nations Decade of Action Against Road Accidents (2011-2020), to reduce crashes in the country by 50 per cent.
“We have met with all the stakeholders on the issue of the installation of the speed limiter, and they all resolved to comply with the directive. They expressed their satisfaction with all the steps taken to ensure that the device was installed on their trucks, our major concern is to ensure that as many motorists as possible comply,” he said.
The agency according to him, would embark on advisory compliance till next year, adding that the aim is to ensure that as many motorists, especially commercial fleet vehicle owners, comply.
He continued: “We would be embarking only on the advisory enforcement for now. We are going to be issuing tickets for all road traffic violation law and any vehicle caught would be given two weeks final warning deadline, to get the device installed.”
He added that all stakeholders agreed that any operator found contravening the rule after the moratorium, should be sanctioned.
“We shall embark on advisory enforcement till the end of the year and full enforcement will commence by January 1 2017. We are on course; we are going ahead to enforce the directive by October 1,” he added.
To Oyeyemi, the speed limiter was the path to restoring sanity to the nation’s roads.
He carpeted those who are canvassing the adoption of spider technology, as against speed limiter in arresting speed violators, saying that the former would be vandalised in no time.
“People should stop misleading the government and Nigerians simply because of their own personal financial gain. There is a difference between speed camera and a speed limiting device. Spider technology is just a brand name for a speed camera device like a CCTV mounted on the road to capture the speed of any vehicle on the road. It helps to monitor the speed of any vehicle and enable you to know if any particular vehicle has flouted the speed limit of that road.
“So, many people have been extolling its benefits. For instance, when the camera picks the speed of a vehicle, a citation will be given and a ticket issued. But when you look at the level of our infrastructural development, the fact that we do not yet have regular electricity supply and the high level of vandalism of public facilities, then you might want to question the propriety of anyone thinking that speed camera is the best option at this stage of our development.
“Right now, we are producing signage backup for all our road construction companies in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Works. So, how would you set out to install speed cameras with that background? Before you even finish the installation of one area, they would have removed the whole thing. Except if, with the new change mantra of the Federal Government, Nigerians’ orientation changes to start protecting, rather than vandalising public utilities and facilities,” he said.
Oyeyemi said the speed limiter was to restrain the speed of the vehicle. For example, the marginal speed on the highway is 90 km, so the device will ensure that no matter how one accelerates, one will not exceed the prescribed speed.
He said: “So, if your speed is 90, the calibration would be put at 95, to allow for an endurance or tolerance point. No matter how you accelerate, you can’t exceed the speed that has been calibrated on your vehicle. Another thing is that this device is installed once and for all, it is not something you would be renewing every year. If you buy a vehicle for about N1 million or more and you are to buy a speed limiting device for between N20 and N25,000, I think it is cost effective.
“We are talking about safety here and it makes economic sense not only to protect your life but also your investment.The limiter will greatly help reduce the rate of accidents on our roads. The lives of 170 million Nigerians most of who need one form of public transportation or the other must be preserved. Our focus would be commercial vehicles first because they carry large volume of passengers and we tend to lose more lives through them than private car owners.”
The FRSC, he said, has nothing to do with marketing the equipment. “Several marketers are already into it. It is not novel to us. Several major oil marketers, such as Mobil, MRS, Oando and Conoil, among others have keyed into installing speed limiters on their tankers long before now and we have gone ahead to ensure that all independent marketers also joined them. Now, it is compulsory to have speed limiting device on your tanker before you can load petroleum products at any of our major depots of the major marketers. We are going to insist also that it would be impossible for you to load at any tank farms if you don’t have this device. There is also some organised transport operators like the ABC, Peace Transit that have it on their fleet, so what the FRSC has simply done was just to escalate this to the national level and we invited the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to set the approved standard for use in Nigeria, which in agreement with all stakeholders, had been done.
“So, we are working with SON to ensure that the right device is imported into the country. All we want is for you to cut down on your speed because we have found out that the possibility of saving more lives increases once one cuts down on speed and reckless driving. There are 38 accredited marketers and resellers certified by SON and the FRSC to sell the speed limiter so anybody can buy from any authorised sellers,” he said,
The FRSC boss said the speed limiter was fundamental to the government on the grounds that if not installed, there was the likelihood that before the offender got his citation and ticket, he might have killed people. “That is why the speed limiter is, to us, fundamental and regarded as a fitting programme to complement its preparedness for the ‘’ ’Ember’ month’s safe road’’ campaign.
‘’The absence of road signage is becoming increasingly worrisome because they are a major cause of accidents on our roads, especially at night. The FRSC is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Works and state Ministries of Works to assist in designing appropriate road signs, and we are ensuring that the ones we are producing are reflective, especially at night because we have seen, especially with recent cases, that most of the accidents that occurred at night were as a result of poor visibility of impediments to smooth driving on our highways.
“So, we are committed to saving lives by making sure that our roads are fitted with reflective road signs and our major focus for now are the federal roads and if we have access to these roads, we may install the signages and bill the Federal Ministry of Works to pay us back later. The fact remains that our highways require appropriate road furniture – road signs, road markings and other facilities and this is one of the things that guides a driver, especially at night,” he said.
Road signs, he said, help one to know how many miles one has covered and the speed limit required on the road and, especially, they help in warning drivers of the nature of the roads and what lies ahead.
He added: ‘’Our tracking of accidents, especially those that occurred at nights, have shown that they may have been avoided if there were illuminating road signs, especially around narrow roads or very sharp bends and turns. Driers would have taken necessary precautions that would likely prevent accidents if these were in place. Our assignment is to continue to support the Federal Ministry of Works and the states to ensure that our roads are well fitted with appropriate facilities.’’
Source : ThenationonlineThenationonline