[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) is to commence enforcement of the speed limiters on commercial vehicles operating in the country effective from 1st October 2016.
The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi made the announcement on Wednesday, in an address he delivered at the stakeholders’ meeting held at the FRSC National Headquarters Abuja.
According to Oyeyemi, enforcement of the new road safety regulation from the appointed date shall be total and non-compromising
He commended all the stakeholders for the consistent support they have given to the policy of speed limiters usage in the country, noting that without such support, it would have been difficult for the country to get to where it is today where enforcement date would no longer be controversial. He particularly 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, saying 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.
He added that 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 stated further: “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.
The Senate Committee Chairman added that with the role played by the National Assembly towards creating public enlightenment on the policy through its public hearing, the legislature has become a critical stakeholder that would actively participate in the implementation and work collectively with other stakeholders to ensure its success. He assured that the National Assembly will remain committed to the full implementation of the policy.
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. He pledged the support of the House of Representatives especially the Committee on the FRSC, for the success of the policy, noting that the rationale behind organizing the public hearing as ordered by the National Assembly was to enable members of the public express their views before a decision was taken.
He expressed satisfaction with public acceptance of the policy as expressed during the public hearing, stating that members of the public have shown positive attitude to it by not opposing it. He thanked the President for his interest in road safety matters and pledged the support of his Committee in the implementation of the policy in the collective desire to restore safety on the nation’s roads.
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. He called on members of the public to embrace the policy in the interest of road users and pledged the support of the office of the SGF to render necessary support towards the success of the implementation of the policy.
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 them, sufficient enlightenment programmes and consultations on the policy have been carried out by the FRSC to carry everyone along. This they said makes it imperative that all concerned individuals and relevant transport unions should join hands in ensuring successful implementation. Some of the leaders of the transport unions also commended the Federal Government for commencing rehabilitation work on some strategic roads across the country and pleaded for sustenance. They also called on the vendors of the device to take them along in making the prices of the device affordable for their members.
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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