The Federal Road Safety Commission of Nigeria is the body charged with the regulation of Driving practices and maintaining safety on our roads. The commission is empowered to function as an umpire in the regulation of Road safety and traffic procedures but the operations of the commission vis-à-vis their constitutional responsibilities enabling laws leave much to be desired. The commission seems to have resorted to road checks without attempting to check the issuance of drivers licence illegalities and recklessness

 



The law must be employed to check the reckless issuance of drivers licence by the Federal Road Safety Commission. Why check and inspect driver's licenses and driving habits on our roads when the process of training and being certified as a driver is not regulated or standardised? Any person goes to the commission and gets a drivers licence irrespective of how the person learnt to drive. It is a truth that most people that are issued with drivers licenses never did any training or driving test. The inability of the commission to carry out driving tests of any kind before dishing out drivers licenses makes the commission vulnerable to corruption and corrupt tendencies.


 

When u don't teach a student the rudiments of a course, why mark the student down or spank the student for not knowing the course. The process of licensing of drivers in Nigeria is fraught with corruption and lacks international standard. One of the basic responsibilities of the Federal Road Safety Commission is determining, from time to time, the requirements to be satisfied by an applicant for a driver's licence. The commission has failed in this area and must accept liability for causing more harm than good to commuters as they issue licenses to non-qualified drivers and thereby increasing accidents and deaths on our roads. The FRSC must do the needful and safe lives. They really have no moral justification to check driver's licenses on our roads as they recklessly issue these licenses to anybody that says he or she can drive. Some licenses are delivered to the homes of the applicants by officers of the FRSC personally.


 

The FRSC remains interested in contravening drivers for traffic and driving offences but has refused/failed to lay emphasis on the methods to enlighten the driving public on the road usage procedures. They lay more emphasis on checking vehicle papers, fire extinguishers, C-caution, etc but fail to realize that it is only the living that ca n drive and be available for road checks. The pedestrian is at the risk of being knocked down daily by reckless driving. The driver is at the risk of being hit by a fellow driver and the sanity of most of the drivers is suspect. These inappropriate and under aged drivers have authentic drivers licenses or have none at all but still drive. The cars they drive may belong to their family members or privileged parents who believe, stupidly thou, that allowing their under aged kids to drive is a show of affluence or comfort. These child drivers are arrested by the FRSC and released after paying fines or paying nothing at all as official charges. In some cases, phone calls from the privileged parents get them released.

The campaign against road accidents must start from the preliminary point of sufficient driving tests with requisite practical and written examinations. The duty of FRSC should not begin and end with road inspections and harassing citizens who are going about their legitimate businesses. They should become responsible to their functions and seek to prevent road mishaps by addressing the issues of driving licenses, placement of road signs, well articulated traffic lights and strict observance of road traffic laws. With no speed limit regulations in place, the FRSC will only be wasting more money in attempting to regulate speed on our roads.


 

Another major tenet of the functions of the FRSC is determining and enforcing speed limits for all categories of roads and vehicles and controlling the use of speed limiting devices. This provision of the enabling Act of the FRSC has remained ink on paper as the Commission has failed woefully to actualise it. May it be told to the Commission and their masters or employers-the Federal Republic of Nigeria that road bumps are road defacers and not limiting devices. The traffic lights are inadequate and wrongly programmed. The road user education programme is non-existent. Bus drivers, government vehicle drivers and private drivers speed on our roads as if they own it and no other vehicle should ply. The FRSC officials see these people and can only stop or arrest the private or bus driver but the government vehicle is sacrosanct. The members of the National Assembly are lords. Some others are still let go under the espirit de corps fraud. This is an arrant exhibition of corruption and favoritism and must be jettisoned immediately. No person is above the law-not even the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Sometimes one wonders if this commission is out to rid the roads of accidents and maintain safe driving habits or just concentrating on contravening offenders and slamming them with bank slips to pay fines or settlements. You cannot enforce what you have not taught. You cannot give what you don't have. Section 41-(1) of the 1999 constitution states thus "Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria........." This means that the stop and check activities of the commission, causing traffic jams and disturbing peoples free movement is an aberration of their legitimate functions and has no primary bearing on their responsibilities .

 


FRSC has no right to obstruct a citizen's free vehicular movement either as a driver or passenger. The officers allow their friends and "important persons" go unchecked and lesser citizens are frisked. This is unacceptable and must be resisted. The police is also a major player in this insensitivity. The FRSC lacks the requisite justification to check driver's licenses without confirming the authenticity of such licenses. How were they obtained? How authentic is the driving school that certified the driver? What is the age of the driver, etc? The Commission seem to be so much in a hurry to collect Drivers license fees that they have no regard to the legality of the licenses they churn out daily

 

CURLED FROM LEADERSHIP 4TH MARCH 2011

POSTED BY BUCHI OKOLI

 

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