The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi says plans are underway to compel traffic offenders to pay one hundred thousand Naira (N100,000) as the penalty for a traffic offence.
- Oyeyemi said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Nigeria Road Safety Strategy on Wednesday in Abuja.
“You cannot arrest somebody for using a phone while driving and he pays four thousand Naira (N4,000) as the penalty. And almost immediately he goes back to commit the same offence.
“Fines are supposed to serve as a deterrent, which is why I said that I am in support of what the National Assembly is doing presently amending the Act of the FRSC to make the fines go up.
“I believe that by the time traffic offenders’ start paying between fifty to one hundred thousand Naira for a single traffic offence, they will not want to commit such offence again,” said.
- The FRSC boss reiterated that penalties for traffic offences were to serve as deterrent adding that the present regime of fines and penalties do not serve as a deterrent, hence the need to increase the fines.
“Look at Lagos, the minimum fine is fifty thousand Naira and people are complying. We are not a revenue-generating agency but again we must ensure that those fines serve as a deterrent for people not to do it again.
“When an offender pays fifty thousand or one hundred thousand Naira fine, he or she will think twice before committing the offence again.
“What is the essence of a person disobeying traffic light and pays four thousand Naira only. In fact, some of them insult us saying ‘is it not four thousand?’
- Oyeyemi explained that aside fines, the FRSC also take traffic offenders to health facilities and a court of law.
- He stressed that court usually gives its own penalty, “but the court is always liberal a bit; we appreciate them.”
- He said also that the corps was proposing community services as a punishment for traffic offenders.
“This punishment is also in the amendment now; when you are convicted, in your suit and tie you will go for community services.
“People think that the fines are high but they seem not to understand what we have been stressing; fines are to serve as a deterrent.
“If you don’t want to pay the fine, then don’t commit the offence,” Oyeyemi said.