Worried about the increasing rate of accidents on the Nigerian roads, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the government agency with statutory responsibilities for road safety administration in Nigeria, has said there is no going back on the implementation of speed limiting devices in vehicles, which it said, would go a long way in saving lives on the roads.
The Sector Commander, FRSC, Lagos, Mr. Hyginus Omeje, who reiterated the commitment of the FRSC in saving lives on highways, during a thanksgiving session of the command at Saint Timothy’s Catholic Church, Ojodu, Lagos on Sunday, blamed incessant road crashes on over-speeding under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
According to him, although the FRSC Establishment Act of 2007, supports installation of speed limiting devices in all vehicles, the FRSC decided to begin the implementation and enforcement with commercial vehicles, especially commercial bus drivers. He said the enforcement with private vehicles would begin on a later date.
Omeje therefore called on commercial vehicle drivers to ensure strict compliance with the law or risk severe sanction.
Welcoming the sector to his parish for the annual thanksgiving, the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Gabriel Amolegbe, highlighted the risks involved in saving lives on the highways and commended members of the FRSC for their selfless service and asked God Almighty to continue to bless them and protect them in the course of discharging their duties.
Speaking to the congregation on safety tips while on the highway, Omeje advised them not to drink and drive. He said 90 per cent of road accidents were caused by over-speeding, which he attributed to drivers under the influence of alcohol and strong drugs. He discarded the argument that road accidents were caused by bad roads, and insisted that the majority of accidents on the highways were caused by over-speeding under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and advised drivers to restrain from drinking and taking hard drugs, if they must drive, insisting that majority of the road accidents were preventable.
“When a driver is under the influence of alcohol or strong drugs, he tends to over-speed and loose control of himself and the vehicle he is supposed to control, thereby endangering the lives of innocent passengers. This is an abuse of the rules and regulations guiding driving and it must be stopped, hence we are very serious with the implementation of speed limiting devices in commercial vehicles, since the device automatically cuts off the transmission immediately the driver exceeds the 90 km/h speed limit for commercial vehicles,” Omeje said.
He also advised parents not to allow their children and wards that are below 18 years of age to drive their vehicles. “Parents must send their children and wards above 18 years to a driving school before they are allowed to drive cars,” Omeje said.
Responding to the comments of the parish priest concerning the risks involved in the kind of job they do, Omeje said FRSC lost 70 of its staff to hit-and-run drivers across the country in 2016 alone.
He however said no life was lost in the Lagos Command in 2016, which he said, formed part of the reasons for their thanksgiving.