ONITSHA (ANAMBRA – The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said some road traffic offenders may spend the Christmas holidays in jail.
The FRSC Zonal Commander in-charge of zone 5, Mr. Charles Akpabio, told newsmen in Onitsha, Anambra, that the commission would deploy mobile and magistrate courts on all road corridors.
Akpabio, who is in-charge of zone 5 comprising of Anambra, Delta and Edo states, said that the move would act as deterrent to road traffic offenders and a reminder to their families and friends to keep warning them to be careful while on the road.
“Now, the essence is to allow them to explain themselves to the judge or to the magistrate – no I didn’t commit the offence, it is not true or I committed the offence, I am sorry.
“If the magistrate decides to allow them to go free, they are free; if the magistrate decides that with the evidence available before the court and say no don’t go free, pay the fine.
“Sometimes, in some cases, they can say pay the fine and go to jail, or go to jail without option of fine; they will show, they will be a deterrent to other road users.
“And for the numbers of years we have utilized mobile courts and magistrate courts in our operations, they have been very effective.
“So this time around, we intend to utilise the mobile courts as well on all the (road) corridors.
“Some offenders that would be arrested for speed violation, dangerous driving, use of phone while driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and driving with expired spare tyre and overloading may likely, may likely by the judgment of the courts spend the Christmas or New Year or New Year and Christmas in jail.“
The zonal commander said the organisation had deployed more than 3,000 marshals, 43 vehicles, 10 motorbikes on road corridors in Anambra, Delta, and Edo states to ensure safety of Nigerians this yuletide season.
“We have six advanced life support ambulances, two heavy duty tow trucks to be located each at Niger Bridge and Benin for effective coverage, 4 medium duty tow trucks to compliment the heavy duty tow trucks for quick removal of obstruction.“
He said the FRSC approved the commencement of “Operation Zero Tolerance“ nationwide to help deal with road users’ refusal to adhere to traffic rules and regulations.
“All the deployments are with immediate effect since “Operation Zero Tolerance“ commences on December 19, 2014 and ends on January 13, 2015.
“All patrol teams are equipped with reflective jackets for team members, traffic cones, patrolites and radar guns to help checkmate speeding drivers on the road.
“Breathalyzers in quantities have been allocated to command such that any driver suspected to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be promptly tested.
“If the driver test positive, he or she will be charged to mobile court on the spot.”