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Commercial transporters clash with FRSC over Sept 1 introduction of speed limit device

A major crisis that may disrupt road transportation in Nigeria for a long period if not averted by the Presidency has broken out between commercial transporters in the country and the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC.

The crisis of confidence between the two parties arises over the decision by the commission to introduce speed limit device technology on commercial vehicles with effect from September 1 this year. N35,000 for device, N1,000 for installation.

It was learnt that the FRSC is working with a private Nigerian firm to enforce the controversial deal, which would require each vehicle owner to buy the device for N35,000 and pay additional N1,000 for installation.

The transporters claim that with each of the 25 million vehicles in Nigeria paying N36,000 to the FRSC, it would rake in at least N900 billion from innocent Nigerians for a technology that would not add value to their lives.

In a protest letter to the FRSC, the transporters warned the commission to desist from going ahead with the project, as it would endanger the lives of vehicles owners rather than protect them and accused the FRSC of bringing an outdated technology to Nigeria, which had long been phased out in Britain, India, Kenya, Tanzania, United States of America and Uganda because of its adverse negative effects.

The road transporters writing under the aegis of International Human Rights and Anti-corruption Society gave the FRSC one month with effect from August 17, 2015 to publicly declare the discontinuation of the device or face a court action. In the letter addressed to the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, and signed by the Director General, Dr. U.O. Udofia and Secretary General, Barrister E.A. Egbebu, the group also drew the attention of the commission that it lacks the power to introduce the said device under the Section 10 (3) of the FRSC Act of 2007.

It warned that the FRSC should adopt and use the world acclaimed Spider Technology that comes with a 3-in-one high definition camera with long range monitoring of highways to capture over speeding vehicles.

The group pointed out that while it does not oppose the use of technology to control road speed limit on the highways, it would not fold its hands and allow the FRSC to bring in anything for money-making purpose and endanger the lives of vehicle owners.

They complained that while the Spider technology was being used globally it was wrong for the FRSC to contemplate installing speed limiter on vehicles so that they do not run beyond the fixed limit even when pursued by armed robbers, kidnappers, hired killers and car snatchers. “Speed limiter in all developed and African countries had been banned.

Again speed limit device had been discovered to expose motorists to danger such as armed robbery and other dangerous exposures.
“Therefore, in a country like Nigeria where there is serious prevalence of insecurity, the installation of speed limiter in vehicles would be counterproductive and self-defeating,” the transporters said. Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Commission has insisted that the speed limiter will be enforced by the commission with effect from tomorrow.

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