MANY vehicles were, on Wednesday, impounded nationwide as the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) began the full enforcement of the speed limiting device on commercial vehicles plying the naton’s highways.
This followed the advisory enforcement of the device on the commercial vehicles in 2016, preparatory to the full enforcement of the facility.
Already, the commission has deployed its personnel to the highways in all parts of the country to conduct the exercise.
In Jigawa State, the state’s command of the FRSC said it had deployed four patrol teams to begin full enforcement of the installation of the device on commercial vehicles in the state.
The Sector Commander, Mr Angus Ibezim, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital, that the teams were being supported by personnel of the Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Department of State Services (DSS).
“In line with the commencement of the enforcement of the speed limiting device, we have deployed four patrol teams to ensure compliance.
“They were deployed to Birnin Kudu-Maiduguri-Shuwarin-Kano-Gaya and Gumel-Hadejia highways. “And our target is inters-state commercial vehicles,” Ibezim said.
“Our record on the installation of the device is discouraging, that is why we have no option than to fine them,” the sector commander said.
In Bauchi State, however, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) decried the high cost of the device. Chairman of the union, Alhaji Sule Adamu, stated this in an interview with NAN.
Adamu said due to the current economic hardships, members of the union were finding it difficult to purchase the device at the cost of N45,000.
Head of Operations, FRSC Bauchi State command, Mr Paul Gar, said no hitch was anticipated as adequate enlightenment had been carried out. He urged other commercial vehicles operators to ensure prompt installation of the device to avoid penalties.
In Lagos State, the Zonal Commanding officer FRSC Zone 2, comprising Lagos and Ogun, Mr Shehu Zaki, said the enforcement exercise had commenced in the area. He said the exercise would continue until there was significant number of vehicles with the devices.
“We have commenced the exercise throughout the country and for now, we are arresting the commercial and articulated vehicles found without the devices. “Over 20 vehicles have been impounded today and we will still continue,” he said.
The Oyo State Sector Command of the FRSC, on Wednesday, prosecuted and got convictions for 39 commercial drivers who were arrested for non-installation of speed limiter in a mobile court sitting at the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan highway.
Also arraigned and convicted were 12 drivers for other traffic rules such as dangerous driving, non-usage of seat belts, non-possession of driver’s licence, among others.
The state FRSC officials, led by the Sector Commander, Yusuff Salami, the Sector Head of Operations, Olusegun Akinyemi and Unit Commanders were at the Oluyole Unit at Toll Gate area of Ibadan at 8:00 a.m. to ensure the full enforcement of the installation of the speed limiter.
Speaking on Wednesday’s FRSC outing, the sector commander said it was the commencement of the enforcement of installation of speed limiting device in commercial vehicles and those run by fleet operators.
According to him, “we have been on it (enforcement of device installation) for some time. It commenced on October 1, 2016 as advisory enforcement whereby we checked the vehicles and if not installed, we advised the driver to contact the vendors of the speed limiter device.
“Today (Wednesday) is the commencement of full enforcement of installation of the device. The vehicles impounded today were those that were found not to have complied with the installation deadline.
Salami said that the FRSC was making use of mobile court while it still ensured enlightenment by inviting vendors to give flyers to and enlighten the drivers.
Some of the arrested drivers claimed that they were hearing of the speed limiter device for the first time.
In Nasarawa State, the state command of the FRSC alleged that some members of the state branch of the NURTW disrupted the enforcement exercise.
Deputy Corps Commander (DCC) and Head of Operations, Mr Emmanuel Ajongbade, said the union members disrupted the operation early in the morning.
“The incident occurred at the Lafia-Makurdi highway. Our focus for the day was fleet operators, not them, but still they came and disrupted our operations, threatening to deal with us.
“It was after we requested for back up that they finally calmed down,” Ajongbade said. He, however, said the exercise continued in spite of the disruption.
Meanwhile, the Adamawa State command of the FRSC has suspended the enforcement of the device. The state Sector Commander, Mr Adegoke Adetunji, disclosed this to NAN in Yola, the state capital. Adetunji said the decision followed complaints by commercial drivers in the state.
“We commenced the exercise with our sister agencies peacefully along Yola-Numan highway until when we noticed tension brewing among commercial drivers.
“So, for peace to reign, we suspended the exercise immediately, including the mobile court,” Adetunji said.
He, however, said the command had held a meeting with all relevant stakeholders over the issue and that it was agreed that the exercise would resume on Thursday.
In Gombe State, the Sector Commander, Mr David Mendie, said the command of the FRSC had commenced its enforcement. He made the disclosure in an interview with the NAN in Gombe, on Wednesday.
“We involved the police to assist us to have a smooth and successful implementation.
“For now, it is a special patrol. We started with Gombe-Bauchi Road from 6.00 a.m. till 2.00 p.m. before moving to other routes.
“So far, we have booked four vehicles, one bus, three pick-up vans and each will pay N3,000 fine. “We have commenced enforcement and this time around, no going back until the desired goal is achieved. “When it comes to human lives, no compromise, as the device is beneficial also to the owners of the vehicles because it has so many advantages,” he said.
The Onitsha, Anambra State unit command of the FRSC, on Wednesday, impounded 16 commercial vehicles for failure to install the device.
The Unit Commander, Mr Paulinus Akpotobo, told NAN in an interview that the seizure marked the commencement of total enforcement of the device.
“FRSC nationwide has commenced the enforcement on compliance on commercial vehicles and the directive is being adhered to in Onitsha.