‘Speed limiter prevents accidents,’ says expert, urges lawmakers to approve its implementation

 

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A renewed call has been made to the House of Representatives to allow the implementation of the speed limiter device scheduled to begin from April 1, 2016 by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) takes effect in order to save more lives that are lost due to uncontrollable high speed by motorists on our highways.

A Transport expert, Mr Chidubem Timothy, Head of Operations, Peace Mass Transit, made this passionate call in Lagos while commenting and reviewing the state of the Nigerian roads vis-a-vis incessant accidents that have claimed many lives in recent times.

According to Chidubem, “Nigeria is overdue for Speed Limiter device implementation. In this modern age where speeding is a very impulsive behavioral trait, controlling speed by a modern technology fitted to work per vehicle is more important rather than installing a technology that is not feasible to limit vehicle speed in any way.”

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Speaking further, he noted, “For emphasis sake, Spider technology have been touted in some quarters as alternative to Speed Limiter devices on highways, but will the government be able to install at least 64,000 spiders on our over 32,000 kilometer highways considering the huge cost outlay per spider in the next five years or so? How many more lives would we have lost in that five years? Would it be feasible to secure such huge number of Spider installations, or even provide the internet and electricity facilities to manage this major road installations?”

Rather, the Head of Operations of the leading transport company stated further that what is more effective for FRSC to manage its road safety mandate and reduce the alarming carnage on roads caused by accidents is the Speed Limiter installations in vehicles.

The device, according to the expert would go a long way in saving precious lives of Nigerians.

It would be recalled that last month, the lawmakers had asked the FRSC to stop the implementation of the compulsory use of speed limiters by motorists in the country.

According to the lawmakers, besides the technology being “outdated”, its unit price of N36,000 would pile more misery on Nigerians.

In its resolution in Abuja, the House had summoned the Corps Marshall and Chief Executive Officer of the FRSC, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, to explain why his agency planned to place another “needless burden” on Nigerians.

Members passed the resolution after an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu, moved a motion on “introduction of speed limiter outdated technology by FRSC.”

Leading the debate on the floor, Shaibu said the technology had inherent disadvantages, including the fact that it could only work with electronic injector vehicles and not vehicles fitted with carburettors.

Part of Shaibu’s motion read, “The House is concerned that the speed limit device has been experimented and abandoned in some African countries due to innate disadvantages.

“Indeed, it is an outdated technology.

“(We are) further concerned that its introduction will expose motorists to evil-minded persons such as armed robbers, car snatchers and assassins who ply the same roads.

“This is more apt given the security challenges Nigeria is currently grappling with.”

Mr. Tajudeen Yusuf (Kogi State) and Mr. Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo State), both of the Peoples Democratic Party, argued that manufacturers of the technology opted for Nigeria as a “dumping ground,” knowing that it was outdated.

“The idea of speed limit is a way for the manufacturers of speed limit devices to find a market in Nigeria for their outdated devices,” Yusuf said.

Agbonayinma stated, “Why do you want to impose speed limit devices on people who cannot afford three square meals a day?

“This policy is unacceptable; it will not be fair to Nigerians to accept substandard equipment.”

However, members advised the FRSC to go for newer technologies that could be installed along the highways to limit speed.

They observed that in advanced societies, such technologies were not necessarily installed in vehicles, neither did they place any direct financial burden on motorists.

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