When in February 1988, the Federal Government created the Federal Road Safety Commission through Decree No. 45 of same year as amended by Decree 35 of 1992 referred to in the statute books as the FRSC Act cap 141 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, it was clear that the government expected the best in safe motoring (as well as how such affects other road users) from the FRSC.
We note that the establishing Act thrusts on the Commission the huge task of not just making the highway safer for motorists and other road users, it expects FRSC to recommend works and devices designed to eliminate or minimize accidents on the highways and advising the Federal and state governments including the Federal Capital Territory Administration and relevant governmental agencies on the localities where such works and devices are required, and educating motorists and members of the public on the importance of discipline on the highway.
Specifically therefore, the Commission by law is empowered to employ all it can muscle to prevent or minimise accidents on the highway, clear obstructions on any part of the highways, educate drivers, motorists and other members of the public generally on the proper use of the highways, as well as designing and producing the driver’s license to be used by various categories of vehicle operators among other mandates like designing and producing vehicle number plates, conducting researches into causes of motor accidents and methods of preventing them and putting into use the result of such researches and determining and enforcing speed limits for all categories of roads and vehicles and controlling the use of speed limiting devices.
Over the years while the Commission has striven to deliver on its mandates, we note that it had not been a smooth sail. After all, in a society where the people delight in breaching the law and revel in impunities, we do not expect a 100 per cent compliance by road users to FRSC’s efforts to keep our roads safe for all.
Till date, cases of driving without authorised driving license, underage drivers, drunk-driving, unathorised use of sirens, driving vehicles that are not road worthy and even parking in unathorised areas still abound. There are more though.
However, we are delighted at the news coming from the Commission under its current leadership as to new measures being employed to check the above well known impunities as well as many others not listed here.
From its operational headquarters in Abuja, the FRSC can now monitor the activities of its operatives across it’s over 400 unit Commands in the country. From its unique vehicular tracking system, the Commission can now check the state of its vehicles whether they are stationary or mobile or inactive.
Even though its plan to introduce a new speed limit of maybe, 100km/hour is no longer news, we commend this as one step that can check drivers’ excesses on the highway. The Commission’s vision that the measure will reduce deaths on the highway by at least 50 per cent is welcome. On the same note we applaud its current efforts at taking its Driving School Standardisation Programme to the next level.
It is also laudable that the Commission is determined to carry on with its plan to subject drivers to Alcohol Test. We call for a speedy commencement of this mandate as many of the vehicular accidents on our highways especially those that occur weekends are largely traceable to drunk-driving as well as underage driving.
Good enough, the Commission has since streamlined its drivers licence issuance, thus making detection of abuses on this note easy.
It is not yet uhuru though for the Commission. But it must perfect its current efforts before launching out to its other projects, all for the sake of a safer road usage in Nigeria.