The Federal Road Safety Commission in Nigeria has reminded commercial drivers in Gombe state that January 1, 2017 is the dateline for the strict enforcement of Speed Limit devices in commercial vehicles.
The Sector Commander of the corps in Gombe State, Mr. David Mendie, said at the flag-off of the ‘2016 Ember Month Campaign that by January 1, any commercial vehicle without the Speed Limiting Device installed, would be made to pay the penalty.
Mr. Mendie said installing the speed limit devices in vehicles had come into force since 2014, but the Road Safety Agency had given until January next year, in order to sensitise the public on its importance and wide range compliance.
He stated that although there were several factors that contribute to road crashes, most of them were man-made and avoidable, one of which is over speeding.
The sector Commander said in order to prevent such ugly trend in Nigeria, the Government had in 2014, introduced the installation of the mandatory Speed Limiting Devices in vehicles, which would be enforced from January 1, 2017, to ensure that speeds were controlled on the Nigerian roads to reduce loss of lives.
“Ordinarily, all buses are commercial vehicles, all pickups are commercial vehicles and also, the taxes, the tankers, they are all commercial vehicles. So these are the categories of vehicles that are supposed to install the speed limiters for now. Why we take this aspect is because they are the ones travelling frequently and also have many passengers in it,” Mr. Mendie explained.
Earlier, the Commandant of the 301 Artillery Regiment in Gombe, Colonel Zeilani Abubakar, called for the strict implementation of the policy and the penalties attached to it for maximum result.
“I urge the Nigerian Police and the Federal Road Safety Corps to cooperate and punish the people that will go beyond this speed limiter. Charge them to court. Once they enforce this, of course you will be sanctioned and you must obey before complaint. If you know you will not obey the speed limiter, then be ready with your fine,” Colonel Abubakar said.
The Secretary of the Gombe State Transport Services, Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammed Umar, said all vehicles operating under his jurisdiction would comply by installing the speed limiting devices before the dateline expires.
“All our vehicles in Gombe Line, we are going to install this speed limiter very soon, because they have extended it to January. It was supposed to be 1st October, but now they have extended it. So before January, we are going to install it in all our vehicles, including leased vehicles that are operating within our park,” Alhaji Umar added.
Less road accidents
Gombe State is said to be among the top ten states with the record of less road accidents in the country, but it has also had its bitter experience of terrible cases that led to the loss of lives of productive Nigerians.
For instance, within three weeks early this year, 56 lives were lost in fatal accidents along Gombe-Yale Road, which, according to the Gombe State Police Commissioner, Mr. Austin Iwar, were man-made and avoidable.
Mr. Iwar described the transportation industry as the most patronised, yet the biggest consumer of human lives, the most dangerous and difficult to regulates, as most drivers throw caution to the wind in the name of trying to maximise profit.
He called for caution on the part on the drivers before embarking on any journey.
“I don’t know if there is a system that Gombe Line uses to check these things every morning before these vehicles take off. So you will see that the problems we have with the transportation industry are man-made,” Mr. Iwar said.
While the hammer of blames seems to hit harder on the drivers, the Chairman of the Mass Transit of Gombe Line, Mallam Suleiman Abdullahi, called on the government to ensure that the roads were maintained in good condition and that driver’s licenses were processed and awarded in good time.