Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has disclosed that ahead of the festive season, a total of 201 mobile courts will be activated to try defaulters while 21,000 personnel will be deployed nationwide.
Those to face the music are drivers with overload passengers, those driving one way, those driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol among other driving offenses.
The festive season operations have been divided into three segments – pre-Christmas, post-Christmas and post New Year, beginning December 15th to January 15.
The Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, made the disclosure while addressing State House Correspondents alongside the Managing Director of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Nurudeen Rafindadi, following Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting resolution that commuting during the festive season should be as trouble free as possible.
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Oyeyemi said the mobile courts would prosecute stubborn drivers who violate traffic rules resulting in traffic gridlock.
He said, “One thing I want to advise Nigerians is for them to plan their journey but we are going to frown at overloading. Any vehicle that is overloaded will not be allowed to continue the journey. Like we did during the last Salleh festival, we conducted periodic vision acuity tests for the drivers, that was when we raised the alarm that about 30 percent of the drivers have vision problem. Any of them like that that we see, we are going to ground them and look for alternatives for the passengers to get to their destination safely. We are already working with NURTW peradventure we see a driver with poor sight, you will have to provide the alternative because the focus, government’s interest is for everybody to get to their destination safely. We believe that with the advocacy and the education that is going on, we will be able to reach everybody in all the motor parks.
“For the mobile courts, 201 mobile courts will be activated nationwide next week. The essence is that peradventure they are some recalcitrant drivers we will be able to deal with the situation. And the only appeal we want to make is for all road users to give maximum support to the corps and FERMA officials because FERMA is still doing palliative work as we are talking. So, areas where rehabilitation is going on, let us show a level of discipline and appreciate the efforts of government in ensuring that the roads are fixed during this dry season so that we can all get to our destinations safely.”
The FRSC boss further disclosed that the Nigerian Air Force has allocated two helicopters for aerial surveillance during the period, adding that over 1,000 patrol vehicles have been deployed and that, all their offices in across the country would be shutdown for operation.
Oyeyemi added that FRSC offices would be shutdown nationwide except for drivers license officers to ease traffic on the roads.
On his part, Rafindadi said palliative repairs would be carried out in the 353 critical roads in 16 major corridors of the country.
He said coordination between the two agencies have been going on for the last five weeks.
The FERMA boss said, “In addition to the major construction works that are being done by the ministry of works in the major arterial, the agency has identified a total of about 353 critical roads that need palliative measures specifically during this period.