• en

FRSC Lagos Route Commander Emphasises Need For Road Safety Amid Third Mainland Bridge Refurbishment

Road safety is supposed to be a culture not the man who is wearing the uniform, says FRSC Lagos Route Commander.

Following the refurbishment of the third mainland bridge, attention has turned to enhancing safety and curbing accidents, due to the fact that some drivers constantly disregard road signs, thereby endangering their lives and the lives of other road users.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Friday, FRSC Lagos Sector’s Chief Route Commander and Transport Standardisation Officer, Godwin Umweni, addressed safety measures that road users can take while plying the road, as well as the government’s efforts to ensure the safety of citizens.

“I think the problem here is addressing the attitude of drivers. Government has done its own part by refurbishing the bridge. If we understand what road safety is all about, it will change our psychology. That is why a motorist will wait until he sees the man who is wearing the uniform before he decides to do the right thing. If we begin to see road safety as a culture, road safety as a practice, it will change a whole lot in our driving behaviour on the road. Road safety is supposed to be a culture not the man who is wearing the uniform. If all of us own it that road safety is our responsibility, not the responsibility of the man who is wearing the uniform, then a whole lot will be changed. We should see it as a culture.

“Many road users do not understand the dangers that are inherent in speed while on the road. The federal government in its wisdom decided to reduce the speed to 80km per hour. The road sign is clearly on the bridge, 80 km per hour, that is maximum speed. Speed limit is meant to guide the driving behaviour of road users.”

While mentioning the need for individuals to take safety as a personal responsibility, he acknowledged the need for punitive measures, revealing the efforts the FRSC is making to deter people from going over the speed limit. One of them being the enforcement of speed limiting devices which helps to control the driver’s speed.

Although he said that this measure is currently being applied to commercial vehicles, he assured that with time it will extend to private vehicles as well.

“FRSC in its wisdom decided to enforce the installation of the speed limiting device. I use the word enforce because it has been enshrined in the law. The national route traffic regulation 2012, as amended. It says that it is compulsory for every vehicle that plies the road to be fitted with a speed limiting device. In order for us to enforce this policy, we decided to start with the commercial vehicles.

“Right now we are presently enforcing that law that all commercial vehicles must be fitted with the speed limiting device otherwise called the speed governor. It is a proactive measure that we have taken to control speed instead of doing the reactive measure. Of course we have radar guns that we can use to capture the speed of moving vehicles and as such when there is an infraction, then a citation is issued. That is a reactive approach. A proactive approach is enforcing this speed limiting device. It controls the driver’s speed. When it is installed at a preset speed, it cannot exceed that speed.

“With time we intend to also extend it to private vehicles, but we are still doing the enforcement with the commercial vehicles. This approach is meant to tackle this menace of speed.”

Umweni also clarified what the speed limit for road users is. He said, “The maximum speed as approved by the Nigerian government is not 120 (km/h) but 100 (km/h). 100 on the expressway, 90 on the highway. For urban areas, the law says 50 km per hour. For streets, sometimes you find 15 km and you find 20 km”.

Discussing the FRSC’s approach to ensuring roadworthiness of vehicles, he made mention of computerised checks for vehicle faults, adding that though it may not seem like it, these measures are being taken and the enforcement is continuous.

“If you go to Ojodu for example, there is a computerised process of checking vehicles before roadworthiness certificates are issued. Even private car owners sometimes shy away from this process. Once the vehicle goes through that process, it tells you all the faults therein in the vehicle. And what they do, if the vehicle fails the test, they’ll ask you to go and fix it. And after fixing it, you’ll bring it back.

“They actually have an arrangement for resolving that for commercial vehicles for companies so as to get the process right.

“Enforcement is a continuous process as far as our society right now is. And because we have not arrested all the rickety vehicles you see on the road does not mean that the enforcement is not in progress. Everyday, enforcement is being carried out. The issue of the commercial buses, the permanent solution to it is policy and that is what the government is working on.”

He also provided emergency numbers to call in case of any complaint.

“There is an emergency number, the 112 then you also have the 122, these are emergency numbers that you could call if you observe any anomaly and make your complaint.”

Melissa Enoch

Follow us on: