The Federal Road Safety Corps has urged Nigerians to join the government in its effort to reduce mortality and morbidity resulting from Road Traffic Crashes, RTCs.
The Island Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Assistant Corps Commander, Saddiq Abdulrahaman made this appeal at a sensitisation program on the advisory enforcement of speed limiting device in Lagos.
Abdulrahaman reiterated that inappropriate speed has been identified as “a key factor in road traffic injuries, as well as responsible for a high proportion of the mortality and morbidity that result from RTCs.”
He therefore emphasised that controlling the vehicle speed can prevent crashes and reduce impact when they occur, lessening the severity of injuries sustained by victims.
Decade of action
The UN general assembly designated 2011-2020 as a “Decade of action on Road Safety” for dedicated intervention by government to bring down the estimated rise in RTC deaths by 50%.
Similarly, WHO estimates that annually over 1.3million people are killed by RTC and 50 million injured roads globally.
Over 80% of this figure occurs in the developing countries with Africa having the highest death rate.
It further predicts that if nothing is done by countries to stem this tide, death by RTC would increase by 65% by 2020 overtaking malaria and tuberculosis.
Highlighting the efforts made following adequate research, Abdulrahaman said a number of interventions have been identified to be effective in the management and control of vehicle speed.
“Setting and enforcing speed limits are two of the most effective measures in reducing the road traffic injuries. Studies suggest that a 1km per hour decrease in travelling speed would lead to a two to three percent reduction in road crashes.”
“In furtherance of the above, WHO recommends that member countries set and enforce speed limits appropriate to the function of specific roads,” he explained.
On this note, the Unit Commander stressed that, “Currently in Nigeria RTC data on death rate is 162 deaths per 100,000 population, all stakeholders must work together to bring this figure down to 81 deaths per 100,000 population.”
Assistant Corps Commander said the sensitisation program was aimed at educating commercial vehicle and truck owners on the benefits as well as the importance of using speed limits to checkmate recklessness and overspending among drivers.
“The enforcement of the speed limiting device was suppose to take effect from June this year but we shifted it to October 1 to enable fleet owners install the device.
So far our efforts are yielding result because we have recorded progress as some of the fleet owners are already using speed limiting device,” Abdulrahaman stated.
The sensitisation program on advisory enforcement of the speed limiting device started in Nigeria this month ahead of its full enforcement by February 2017.