Posted by News Express | 26 November 2015 | 3,299 times
A non-governmental organisation, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), has petitioned the chairman, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), threatening to drag the commission to court if it does not halt its plans to implement the compulsory installation of speed limiting devices on vehicle owners in Nigeria.
HEDA in a petition signed by its national chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, argued that FRSC must forthwith stop the implementation of the directive mandating vehicle owners to install speed limiting devices in their vehicles, not later than one month from the service of the petition or face legal action.
HEDA insisted that the commission lacks the authority to mandatorily direct, private vehicle owners especially, to install speed limiting devices in their vehicles as that will be ultravires its powers as provided by Section 5 of the Federal Road Safety Commission Act 2007. The group noted that the section only empowers the commission to issue directives concerning commercial vehicle owners.
The petition reads: “Sometime in February, 2015, your organisation announced a directive mandating all drivers in Nigeria to immediately install speed limiting devices in their vehicles.
“The implementation of the said directive was to commence in June 2015 which was later postponed to 1st day of September 2015.
“Notwithstanding the powers bestowed on your commission, we maintain that the “Speed limiting Device” does not qualify as “Additional Constructional and Mechanical Requirements” as envisaged by the National Road Traffic Regulations (NRTR) 2012 which your organisation is empowered to prescribe.
“Undoubtedly, the outrageous cost of Thirty Six Thousand Naira (N36, 000) for installing the said device will bring untold hardship to vehicle owners and is only an unscrupulous way of ripping innocent Nigerians of their hard earned income.”
Stressing that the centre is not averse to the use of technology in traffic management, HEDA noted that the implementation of the said directive will constitute a gross violation of the Right to Personal Liberty and Right to Privacy of citizens as enshrined in Sections 35 and 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999 (as amended).
“We believe that there other efficient and more effective technological options that the agency can adopt in its bid to check excessive speed on our highways,” the petition said.
HEDA said it might seek the following relief from the court of law if the FRSC decides to go ahead with the said policy:
“A Declaration that the Speed Limiting Device does not constitute “Additional Constructional and Mechanical requirements” stipulated under Section 116 (2) (a) of the National Road Traffic Regulations (NRTR) 2012.
“A Declaration that the application of the policy of Speed Limiting Device by the Federal Road Safety Commission on private vehicle owners in Nigeria is ultravires the powers of the Commission, unconstitutional, null and void.
“A Declaration that the policy of Speed Limiting Device contravenes sections 35 and 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and thus unconstitutional, null and void.
“An Order of Perpetual Injunction restraining the Federal Road Safety Commission from implementing the compulsory installation of speed limiting devices on vehicle owners in Nigeria.”
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