Road safety administration and traffic management is a dynamic field of human endeavor, just as road transportation plays a vital role in the social-economic development of Nigeria. The ever growing vehicular population and accompanying increase in road traffic activities has obligated the need for improved strategies on road traffic administration, among which is the recent initiative on enforcement of the use of Speed Limiting Device on commercial and long haulage vehicles plying Nigerian roads to address some challenges, especially at this critical time when the nation is aspiring to achieve a robust national growth and economic development.
Attaining the status of a better-quality economy may not be easy when the necessary factors, which are the human resources, are lost through various means, including road traffic crashes. It is an incontestable fact that the consequence of RTC is widespread that hardly is there any community or social division that has not either directly or indirectly felt its devastating effect through injuries, disability, psychological trauma or economic losses in all ramifications. As dangerous as RTCs are, they do not just occur, they are basically brought about by either the recklessness or over confidence of some road users. In Nigeria, just like elsewhere in the world, synchronized efforts like awareness campaigns, traffic laws review and different enforcements approaches geared towards improvement of acceptable road use attitude and reduction of RTCs have been undertaken with a sensible achievement.
The Federal Road Safety Corps, a lead agency in road safety administration and traffic management in Nigeria, has continued to emphasize on public enlightenment coupled with dissimilar strategies of enforcement, which has led to a remarkable improvement in road use awareness with corresponding reduction in the rate and fatality of RTCs over the years. Amongst such notable strategies recently initiated is the installation of SLD on commercial and haulage vehicles in the first phase of the implementation having identified speed as a key risk factor in road traffic injuries, influencing both the risk of road crashes as well as the severity.
SLD is a device used to limit the top speed of a vehicle by not allowing the vehicle to accelerate beyond a pre-set speed limit. Aside other advantages like less fuel consumption by vehicles, cutting down maintenance cost, the SLD confers on the drivers some manipulative tendencies in times of emergencies on the road. The installation of SLD would aid in checkmating excessive speeding by drivers and likewise reducing speed induced road crashes involving commercial vehicles by a sizeable numeral. Speed related road deaths are controllable and avoidable if we all resolve to prevent them.
It is therefore germane for all stakeholders to embrace the speed limiting strategy to check avoidable deaths on our roads. Stakeholder supports is very paramount to boost the success of this laudable initiative and position FRSC to achieve its mandate of eradicating RTCs and creating a safer motoring environment in Nigeria. Specifically, the National Assembly should be ready to enact laws that could close certain legislative gaps that are necessary to fortify the powers of FRSC to perform its duties and continually improve its mode of operations. Transport operators should ensure that their members partake in the training and re-training of safety managers and drivers to ensure that operators entering or remaining in the road transport enterprise are endowed with the necessary skills and technical know-how to guarantee quality service and safety of lives. Parents should demonstrate exemplary conduct by obeying all road traffic rules and instilling in their children a generally acceptable road use culture. Schools as citadels of learning should promote the teaching of road safety education as a strategy for road safety awareness and inculcate positive attitude towards road safety culture in the young ones so as to catch them young. Significant affiliates like the Military, Police and Para-military should improve the synergy with the FRSC towards ensuring the success of enforcement of road traffic rules. The judiciary should support the conduct of more mobile courts and ensure timely prosecution of recalcitrant traffic violators. Passengers should encourage their drivers to drive responsibly, be bold enough to caution them when they are reckless, disseminate the road safety message to others and ask relevant questions on the status of SLD and road worthiness of the vehicles they are boarding at the parks before taking off.
The Corps Marshal of FRSC, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, and his team need the cooperation of all to guarantee the safety of lives and properties of road users and ensure that all road traffic rules are obeyed in Nigeria. Good road safety culture should be adopted and adored as a mandatory lifetime skill by each individual in other to build a safe motoring society. The avoidable speed related and other carnages on our highways cannot be allowed to linger unchecked as no life is meant to be lost carelessly. FRSC desires the cooperation of all Nigerians for the success of this noble initiative on SLD so that together we can save millions of lives.
. Usman writes from FRSC, Nassarawa Eggon, Nasarawa State and can be reached via: email@example.com.
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