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No Traffic Offence Is Bigger Than The Other – Bisi Kazeem

Federal Road Safety Corps’ Public Education Officer, Corps Commander Bisi Kazeem, says the Penalty Point System is targeted at identifying recalcitrant drivers who have bad driving behaviour and send them back to driving schools for retraining

BIsi Kazeem: The Penalty Point System is fully backed by law / Photo credit: Facebook
BIsi Kazeem: The Penalty Point System is fully backed by law / Photo credit: Facebook

The Federal Road Safety Corps announced yesterday that it would commence full implementation of the Penalty Point System on traffic offenders from June 1. The Interview spoke with the Corps’ Public Education Officer, Corps Commander Bisi Kazeem, who sheds more light on the new development…

You are about to embark on a penalty point system to manager traffic violations. Which states are you targeting or will it only be in the FCT?

Enforcement will commence in June, 2019 and it is expected to be carried out in all states of the federation. Mind you, this policy is targeted at identifying recalcitrant drivers who have bad driving behaviour and send them back to driving schools for retraining. All these efforts are geared towards ensuring safe road practice in Nigeria.

What category of traffic offences are you looking?

One thing you need to know is that there is no offence that is bigger than the other because all offences can lead to crashes and fatalities.

The focus of the Penalty Point System is on all offences as obtainable in all road safety conscious countries in the world.

Any offence committed will be allotted to the offender's records and when it accumulates to any of the categories, the offender will earn the expected penalty point.

The focus of the Penalty Point System is on all offences as obtainable in all road safety conscious countries in the world

Offences like traffic light violations will be hard for FRSC to monitor. Do you plan to work with traffic wardens?

FRSC is a law enforcement agency and has from inception collaborated with other law enforcement agencies in the discharge of their duties as such, the implementation of the Penalty Point System will not be an exception.

The Corps believes in inter-agency collaboration and synergy and has continually done that. The successes recorded in the recovery of stolen vehicles through the deployment of the Uniform Licensing Scheme speak volume of the impact of collaboration.

So be assured we will definitely work with traffic wardens and any other traffic enforcement agencies.

It is well known that some police officers use traffic light violations to extort money from motorists. How do you manage that?

FRSC does not know about this allegation you are talking about and no part of the Corps' establishment act puts us in the position of monitoring the activities of other law enforcement agencies.

We already have a huge mandate of making the roads safe and we are deeply committed to achieving that already. So as for your question, the Corps will focus on the implementation of the Penalty Point System and others as the case may be.

The Corps derives the power to enforce the Penalty Point System from regulation 66 of the National Road Traffic Regulations 2012 which empowers the Corps to suspend a driver’s License and also withdraw same from the driver depending on the penalty points accumulated by the driver

The penalties you are proposing include suspension of driver’s license and even community service for some offender. Are those backed by law?

At least by now, you don't need to be told that as a lead agency in road safety administration and traffic management in Nigeria, FRSC cannot afford to operate outside the law.

The Corps derives the powers to enforce the Penalty Point System from regulation 66 of the National Road Traffic Regulations 2012 which empowers the Corps to suspend a driver’s Licence and also withdraw same from the driver depending on the penalty points accumulated by the driver.

If you have to rely on the courts for some category of offences. Is there a plan for quick dispensation of Justice like the mobile court that were once in use?

Of course, there is an existing synergy between the Corps and the Judiciary and this mutual working relationship has existed for ages now.

It may interest you to know that, all existing enforcement strategies of the Corps will still be deployed including the use of the mobile court operations and other special intervention operations that we do. We shall rely on our huge information technology a lot.

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