The Federal Road Safety Commission has said 1,397 persons lost their lives in road accidents recorded in different parts of the country in the first half of 2013.
FRSC Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka, made this known on Wednesday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, at the sensitisation programme on speed limit devices.
“The frequency of these accidents were due to non-compliance with traffic laws, especially over-speeding by motorists.
“The current situation calls for urgent steps to deal with the menace of road traffic crashes. It calls for duty of all of us to say no to speed violation and appreciate the need to embrace measures that could tackle the challenge,” he said.
The Corps Marshal said that the commission had commenced the prosecution of 50 fleet operators for failing to register their companies with the commission as required by law.
He said the commission had secured convictions for two of the transport companies for the same offence.
Chidoka said the development was part of the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme of the commission.
He noted that the punitive measure against the erring operators had led to registration of additional 120 operators.
On the speed limit, the Corps Marshal said some companies had installed speed limit devices in their vehicles in a bid to avoid over-speeding that could consequently lead to road accidents. He stressed that over-speeding was responsible for a larger percentage of road crashes in the country.
While charging the motorists across the country to make use of the speed limit devices, Chidoka said the devices had a wide range of benefits, saying “it boosts fuel economy and increases the ability of the driver to manoeuvre in the event of an accident.”
Declaring the programme opened, the State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, represented by the Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Nicholas Tofomo, stressed the need for the reorganisation of the transport sector in the country. He also called on stakeholders to do more in educating road users.
The governor also called for the establishment of transport police to complement the efforts of the FRSC and Vehicles Inspectors Officers in the enforcement of traffic laws in the country.
“It is not about speed limit only, but it is about we putting things in order in this country, many things are wrong, we are far from civilisation in terms of transport management in Nigeria, until we put everything in order, we will not get it right, ” he said.