Safety is above everything that is why the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, is to check that “speed limit devices” are installed in all commercial buses, according to Mr. Osita Chidoka, the Corps Marshal of the commission.
Chidoka stated this on Wednesday at the Second Stakeholders forum on “Speed Limiting Device Enforcement.”
The measure was part of efforts to reduce road traffic accidents, the maiden edition was held in December.
“We believe very firmly that it (device) should be made compulsory for all commercial vehicles; we cannot allow innocent people who board these cars to be put at risk by drivers.
We (stakeholders) are making regulation in support of it (device) and it is for commercial vehicles, the ones that carry passengers and goods,” he said.
Chidoka said that some fleet operators, including ABC Transport Company, Total and Shell had voluntarily installed the device in their vehicles.
He said Nigeria was part of a global coalition making case for manufacturers to install the device in their vehicles.
“While we are waiting for that, we will ensure that commercial vehicle operators install the speed limit,” he said.
On the deadline for installation of the device, Chidoka said it would be decided by stakeholders in the transport sector.
The corps marshal said that a study carried out by the FRSC showed that road traffic crashes caused by over speeding had been on the increase since 2007.
“Within the last seven months, speed violation accounted for about 65 percent of the causative factors of road accidents and fatalities in the country.
Between January and June 2013, a total of 1,397 buses were involved in road traffic accidents, killing 1,438 and injuring 6,831 persons,” he said.
Chidoka stressed that the situation needed to be urgently addressed, and called on stakeholders to embrace the use of speed limiter.
“The use of speed limiting devices presents us this opportunity as it makes it impossible for drivers to go beyond the regulated speed.
Speed limiting devices have been found to be an effective means of preventing speed violation and resultant consequences,” he said.
He listed the benefit to include fuel economy and increase in driver’s ability to manoeuvre in the event of accident.
Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who declared the one-day forum open, urged stakeholders to cooperate with the FRSC to reduce accidents.
Anyim, who was represented by Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, the Director of Special Duties in the office of the SGF, described as worrisome the high rate of accidents involving buses.
“Since the installation of speed limit devices in vehicles has been adjudged as one of the most effective ways of addressing speed, all stakeholders should commit themselves to the initiative,” he said.