Alongside the deteriorating state of our roads, there is the recurring issue of over-speeding that has continued to up accidents with attendant losses to human lives and related property. Together, these two constitute impediments to safe-driving on our roads.
Though we are not ruling out other factors like untrained and reckless drivers, as well as ignorance on road usage by commuters, we hold that one development that will be key to reversing the rising vehicular accidents on the nation’s highways is the planned installation of speed limiters on vehicles and its enforcement by the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC.
We hold this view because there is large-scale impunity by private and commercial vehicle drivers on our roads to the extent that in a city like Abuja where presupposed discipline by road users is demanded, given its peculiar nature, no day passes without avoidable road carnages being recorded. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway, Zuba-Kubwa Expressway and the Abuja-Mararaba-Keffi roads lead the pack.
Within the metropolis at weekends, beginning from Fridays, especially Nnamdi Azikiwe Highway, roads around Area 1, Garki and Garki village itself record similar avoidable carnages. And from reports nationwide, over-speeding and wrongful overtaking account for such incidents.
Perhaps, we must state that rascality on our roads is fast becoming a fad too dangerous to allow to reign in the hearts of the people. From the commuter who uses the shoulder of the road, through the man standing at the bus-stop to the motorist, including his passengers, it is rascality embodying mischief wrapped in uncivil conduct inside unqualified ignorance all the way.
There is therefore no denying the fact that bringing the era of speed limiters into formal being and proper enforcement of its usage will return road users to
On this note, we are aware that the FRSC is set to roll on the use of speed limiters to ensure that its usage is well received and employed by motorists, the public, as well as corporate and private individuals. We also underscore the fact that just as it has and is still doing with successful compliance to the use of seat belts by motorists, the FRSC is poised to excel with the enforcement on speed limiters.
Furthermore, we are aware that the modest progress already made by the FRSC in terms of sensitisation of some categories of vehicle owners is positively impacting on their sensibilities while behind their respective steering wheels. But the Corps must drive the move through by going the whole hog and enforcing it too.
Especially, with the deteriorating state of our roads, there is no better time to cause motorists to employ the use of speed limiters than now.
However, we do not rule out the fact that government has a very critical role to play here. Put succinctly, government must exercise its powers to protect the lives and property, in this case, vehicles of Nigerians by making sure it causes its relevant agencies to fix our roads.
We are not unaware of the dearth of funds in the system right now, but are very sure that instead of a full-fledge road construction works, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA could be empowered to do minimal rehabilitations on our roads nationwide, even as it gives the needed political support to the enforcement of the use of speed limiters.
What is required is the needed political will by government to back the use of speed limiters in vehicles, if for nothing at all, at least, to save precious lives of fellow Nigerians. And the time to do that is now.