Worried by the spate of avoidable crashes on the roads, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it is in the final stages of introducing speed limiting devices in vehicles plying Nigerian roads.
Corps Commander, Corps Public Education Officer, Stella Uchegbu who gave this indication at an interactive media parley organised for the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA) by I-Nigerian Initiative in Abuja said within a three week period of August 11 and 31 this year alone, 513 road crashes were recorded in the country out of which 224 was a result of over speeding.
“This enforcement will be focused on commercial vehicles due to our findings that more casualties are usually recorded in road crashes involving commercial vehicles which also accounts for 30% of road crashes in the country”, she stated.
Uchegbu said consultations on this decision commenced last year with an engagement plan drawn with stakeholders such as the Standards Organization of Nigeria, fleet operators and the Nigerian media through two fora in Abuja and Lagos, in addition to other forms of advocacy programmes to attract the buy-in and involvement of all and sundry.
She explained that the Governing Council of the Standards Organization of Nigeria recently granted approval for specifications for the speed limiting devices in the country.
And to be able to promptly respond to road crashes and other traffic-related emergencies, Uchegbu said a Call Centre was established to enhance the Corps’ closeness to the general public.
“This initiative was further strengthened through the establishment of a Toll-free emergency line 122 to expand the horizon of our interface with the motoring public in the event of a road crash.
“Furthermore, the Corps established 14 emergency ambulance rescue points code named Zebra, along some critical corridors across the country. Since the commissioning, the ambulance scheme has improved on our response time and rescued over 5,000 road crash casualties.
On the scourge of ebola virus disease (EVD), the FRSC Spokesperson said the Corps distributed protective items for staff two weeks ago.
“It is not only to protect us in the head office. It was shared countrywide to all the commands to tell us that whosoever is to protect others needs must first protect himself. We are giving gloves, face masks, hand sanitizers. We now want to expand it to protecting our stakeholders; those who come to visit our offices by providing hand sanitizers in the office.
“Again, our paramedics have undergone specialised training in this direction. Right now, over a hundred of our staff are undergoing training at the National Hospital, Abuja. We are always been serious about manpower development so that we are able to contain any emergency that may arise. Ebola will never prevent us from attending to crash victims.
“We have directed our commands to strengthen advocacy on overloading of vehicles. We have always insisted on this but the EVD issue is now reinforcing it because there is the need to minimise body contacts,” she disclosed
While disclosing that the Corps has a good working relationship with other governmental and non-governmental agencies, Uchegbu said the major challenge to the Corps was wrong attitude of road users.
In her remarks, the National Coordinator of I-Nigerian Initiative, Ada Stella Apiafi stressed: “FRSC has been active in the areas of making highways safe for motorists and other road users, inculcating discipline on our highways through the standardization of highways traffic codes, drivers’ licences all other particulars of road users. “
She then urged Nigerians to change their attitudes while using the roads.