The National Council on Transportation (NCT) has fixed the speed limit for vehicles in the country at 30 kilometres per hour.
The body has also urged relevant stakeholders and governments to ensure the implementation of the new policy.
Emmanuel John, the council’s director of administration and strategy, disclosed this in a statement, made available to reporters on Friday, in Abuja.
According to him, the decision was part of the resolutions reached by the council at its recent retreat in Abuja.
He said: “The 16th National Council on Transportation, in its resolution 6.44, approved the 30 km/h as the default urban vehicle speed in Nigeria.
“The speed limit is for all categories of vehicles, except vehicles on emergency duties, such as ambulances, fire services, security and traffic forces and patrol vehicles on urban roads.”
”We call on all relevant authorities to work towards achieving this in cities, through a review of existing policies, manuals, and legislations,” he added.
The council is the highest policy making body on transportation, comprising state commissioners of transport, federal and state government transport agencies, NGOs, civil society and academics, transport companies, stakeholders from related industries and other experts.
Mr John stated that resolutions of the council constitute national policy, therefore, by this resolution, all authorities and stakeholders were bound to play roles leading to its implementation.
He noted that the resolution was in response to a global call for low speed measures because overspeeding accounts for a huge percentage of crash fatalities in countries around the world.
The director stressed that global road fatalities claimed 1.35 million lives annually, with the case in Africa being the worst as fatalities per 100,000 population was 26.6 as against 9.0 in Europe.
“Also, whereas Africa has only 3 per cent of the world’s vehicles, it accounts for 20 per cent of global road fatalities, according to the WHO.
“More worrisome is that, while the representation of the global average fatalities by road is 26 per cent for pedestrians and cyclists, it is as high as 44 per cent in Africa.
“And where else do pedestrians and cyclists commute? In urban areas and built up areas, along highways of course.
“In Nigeria, speed alone accounts for 47.9 per cent of road crashes, the next five causative factors (totaling 35 per cent) are all speed related, meaning that, if we do away with speed, about 80 per cent of causative factors are addressed.
“This was why the Federal Road Safety Corps began the implementation of speed limiter in vehicles at 100 km default speed, which serves highways, but certainly does not address urban speed,” he added.
Mr John stated that a full implementation of the speed limit, will result in safer, healthier, greener and more habitable cities, noting that it will also reduce urban noise, as well as create a serene environment and orderly traffic flow.
He added that the move would also lead to less fuel consumption and reduce emissions, noting that persons with disabilities would be able to explore their neighborhoods, without fear of being knocked down by vehicles, among other things.
The director, therefore, urged stakeholders at all levels, to rise up to the challenge, by ensuring the implementation of the speed limit, in all Nigerian cities.