By Moses Ebosele –
After several months of campaign and public enlightenment, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) is to commence enforcement of the speed limiters on commercial vehicles October 1, 2016 nationwide.
Speaking with stakeholders on Wednesday in Abuja, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi said the development will curtail road accidents.
The Corps Marshal in his address commended the stakeholders for their consistent support, adding that without such support it would have been difficult for the country to arrive at the point of implementation.
According to a statement issued by Head, FRSC Media Relations, Bisi Kazeem, the Corps Marshal commended the leadership of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) for their technical inputs into the policy, noting that it was such collaboration that enhanced the decision of other stakeholders to adopt the policy.
Oyeyemi recalled that the initial date set for the commencement of enforcement of the law was 1st of June 2015, stating that the date had to be extended to allow for further consultation and more public enlightenment programmes, “especially that the period fell within the same week that the present administration was inaugurated”.
Explaining further, the statement said: “When the Corps made presentation to President Muhamadu Buhari and suggested 1st of September 2015 as the new commencement date, the President in his magnanimity extended the date to 1st of April 2016”.
He further noted that in the process of commencing the enforcement on the set date by Mr President, a Motion was passed on the floors of the two Chambers of the National Assembly suspending the enforcement pending when a public hearing was conducted by the House Committee on the FRSC to determine the desirability of the policy.
The Corps Marshal announced that with the House’s approval of the policy based on public acceptance during the public hearing and its consideration of the relevance of the device in the campaign against speed-related road carnage in the country, it unanimously lifted the suspension order upon which the President gave a new enforcement date of 1st October 2016. He called on stakeholders to take the new date with all seriousness and ensure that their members especially commercial operators abide by the regulations by ensuring that their vehicles are installed with the devices before the commencement of enforcement to avoid sanctions.
Oyeyemi further expressed satisfaction with the wide public acceptance of the policy, noting that with successful enforcement and willing compliance by drivers, the rate of speed-related crashes in the country would come down drastically.
According to him, reports of road traffic crashes recorded by the Corps since the beginning of the year have shown that speed accounted for over 31 percent of the causative factors.
He expressed optimism that with the public hearing conducted by the Committee on FRSC as directed by the National Assembly at the plenary sessions; the judicial pronouncements on the powers of the FRSC to introduce the devices and the presidential directive on the new date of 1st October 2016 coupled with stakeholders’ enthusiasm on the policy, the implementation would be successful.
He said: “The policy on the use of the speed limiters device was carefully enunciated based on expert advice of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria; the National Automotive Design and Development Council as well as stakeholders’ support as a way of addressing the challenges of speed-related road carnage in the country. It is our hope that with the 1st October 2016 enforcement date approved by the President, relevant stakeholders would join hands to make the implementation successful.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, which has oversight powers over the FRSC, Senator Tijani Kaura applauded the FRSC for introducing the speed limiters device in the country, saying it demonstrates the vision and proactive ability of the leadership of the Corps on traffic management in the country, bearing in mind the rate of speed related crashes.
Senator Kaura commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the policy, noting that with its effective implementation; the rate of crashes would go down to barest level.
He expressed the willingness of the National Assembly to support the Corps in its implementation efforts and other polices that could enhance safety and security of people of Nigeria.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of the House Committee on FRSC, Honourable Abubakar Ahmed Yunusa represented by his Deputy, Honourable Gideon Bulus commended the leadership of the FRSC for its commitment to road safety campaign in the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) who was represented at the occasion by Tahir Mohammed Lawan also commended the Corps Marshal for the efforts being made by the FRSC to create public awareness on issues of road safety.
All the representatives of various stakeholders in relevant government agencies and leaders of transport unions who spoke at the occasion pledged their support for the success of the policy.
According to the statement, among stakeholders in attendance were representatives of the office of National Security Adviser (NSA); Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) and Directorate of State Services (DSS).
Others were Association of Speed Limiters of Nigeria (ASLON); PTD-NUPENG; Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN); the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW)and National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO).
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