Damilola Oyedele in Abuja The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has advocated the National Assembly to prescribe severer punishment for road traffic offenders for deterrence and discipline.
The minister proposed community service, compulsory re training and re certification under oversight, and psychiatric assessment for traffic offenders.
Fashola said these at a public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on a Bill for an Act to Amend the FRSC Act 2004, to prescribe specific traffic offences as well as their punishments as well as for other matters connected therewith 2015, along with a motion on non-enforcement of the states for the establishment of enrollment and functioning of driving schools from the FRSC, yesterday.
The minister seemed in the hearing to speak on construction of pedestrian bridges, and the state of the roads.
Fines and jail periods usually do not always function as right or deterrence wrongdoers, Fashola said, adding that it was crucial as has been embraced in Lagos State Traffic Laws, they endure some degree of irritation.
“The magistrate can sentence them to community service, like cutting grass in public, plus they’re going to be placed on video, and may also be placed on television” he said.
Fashola additionally suggested that road users who refuse to work with pedestrian bridges where they’re accessible, must be liable as they endanger themselves, but other road users.
“Punishments look to concentrate on custodial and pecuniary which have existed for some time and never have caused decreases. Maybe parliament could be a bit more challenging, ” he said.
Emphasising on the requirement for the insistence on certificate by schools that were driving, Fashola noted the duty of its own management must be shared by the states and local governments.
“The reason is straightforward: where would the FRSC ever get the ability to take action, keep a driving school in each local government of the nation? A car isn’t a plaything, it’s a machine, and also you should be trained to work with it. But we’ve ignored the training component, now nearly anyone can enter an automobile, shuffle a number of things, and get onto the highway” he said.
Talking before, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, lamented that Nigeria has one of the greatest fatalities in Africa, with 337 departures per 100,000 people per annum, making it the third greatest cause of death in the nation.
“Road traffic injuries will be the leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 29 years.”
“About 77 per cent of road traffic deaths occur among young men under the age of 25 and they have been nearly three times as likely to be killed in an auto crash when compared with young females” he said.
The change to the bill sponsored by Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba (Kaduna APC) proposes to contain six offences to the present 36.