By Theodore Opara
A ROAD safety expert, and member Safety Beyond Borders, a non-governmental organisation in Nigeria, Mr. Adenusi Patrick, has warned that it was wrong for the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, to punish motorists for not having speed limit device on their vehicles.
Adenusi who spoke at the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) monthly forum in Lagos stated that it was wrong for the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC to punish motorists for speed limit offence when government has not installed road signs on the highway. He added that “our roads without signages are like shirts without buttons.”
He noted that even the insecurity on the roads whereby passengers are kidnapped on the highways does not call for speed limiting implementation, adding that the Federal Road Safety Corps needed to put a lot of things in place before considering the implementation of speed limiter on vehicles.
Adenusi said,“the country is not ripe for the forceful implementation of the speed limiter on commercial vehicles by the FRSC because most Nigerian roads are bereft of signs to guide drivers. The implementation of the speed limiter will also expose motorists and their passengers to harm in case of encounters with harm bandits on the road, so my advice is for the FRSC to focus on other means of reducing road traffic accidents
While reasoning that speed was not necessarily the major cause of accidents on Nigerian roads, he identified fatigue as the number one cause of Road Traffic Crashes (RTC) on the roads. According to him “more than 45 percent of vehicles on the nations roads don’t have headlight. Secondly, in Nigeria as we go to sleep the FRSC and law enforcement agents go to bed too.”
Similarly, the road safety enthusiast opined that about 100 persons lose their lives as a result of road traffic crashes on Nigerian roads, which brings the total to over 36,000 deaths every year. This is contrary to the varying monthly figures of between 12 and 20 lives lost to road traffic crashes being disclosed by the FRSC. He also noted that most accidents that occur at nights were not reported most times.
Adenusi who is one of the lead gladiators of Safety Beyond Borders; a non-governmental organisation (NGO) said “over 100 die as a result of road accident in Nigeria daily. You would recall that 17 years ago, we were told that 65 people were killed daily. The question is what has changed?”
He lamented that over the years, both the Nigeria Police and the FRSC have not been able to work together on generating accurate and uniform, but reasonably acceptable data on number of road users that loses their lives.
He, however, called on corporate organisations in Nigeria to support the on-going effort by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to curtail road accidents across the country.