FRSC’s Speed Limiter | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FRSC’s Speed Limiter

Posted: Sep 6, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

editorial letter

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on September 1 began the enforcement of Speed Limiter on commercial motorists. But this has drawn the ire of commercial transporters who are insisting that the device exposes drivers to attacks from armed robbers, hired killers and kidnappers, since the driver cannot accelerate beyond the speed limit programmed into the speed limiter, even when danger looms. Besides, they claim the N36, 000 cost of purchase and installation of the device as charged by the FRSC is too expensive.

A Speed Limiter is a device, which interacts with a vehicle engine to permit the attainment of a pre-programmed maximum speed. Based on the statistics given by FRSC that 50.8 percent of auto crashes in Nigeria are speed related, we believe the project to be a noble cause. If the intention behind the introduction is germane and altruistic and the projection that the speed limiter initiative could reduce traffic crashes nationwide by at least 35 percent, then it is definitely a welcome development. Indeed investigation has shown that countries that care about the safety of their citizens on the road use a combination of devices to contain over speeding.

While it is meant to ensure that vehicles cannot exceed a particular speed that is considered safe, it also poses the problem of not allowing the vehicle to overtake fast enough, sometimes, when that is what is needed to avert a crash. However, this limitation is nothing compared to the fact that excessive speed has a singularly devastating impact on the health and safety of road users, increasing both the risk of a crash and the severity of crash outcomes. Managing speed therefore, is an important measure to reduce deaths and injuries on Nigerian roads.

However, considering the level of unemployment and poverty, perhaps the cost needs to be revisited. As proof that there is no ulterior motive, drivers should not be limited to a device imported by only one company at an exorbitant price. We refuse to go back to that era when only a particular fire extinguisher imported by a particular company was accepted and vehicle owners were embarrassed and fined for having other brands in their vehicles. The issue of the new plate numbers is also still fresh in the memory of Nigerians. FRSC should ensure that dialogue, investigation and every other means are explored before making a pronouncement, so that it will not be vacillating on issues that have to do with road safety.

For the initiative to function properly, we suggest that FRSC put the horse before the cart by creating a database that will make it possible to identify and trace traffic violators.  The government also should as a matter of urgency, repair Nigerian roads; otherwise the various efforts to avert deaths on the road and revamp the road transport system would come to nought.