‎FRSC sends 80 traffic offenders for mental check up

FRSC officials
FRSC officials

The Federal Road Safety Corps has sent 80 persons to mental health facilities for various traffic offences, as traffic marshals commence pilot exercise for new road safety enforcement policy.

Bisi Kazeem, the commission’s spokesperson, told PREMIUM TIMES in a chat on Sunday afternoon that the offenders were arrested between Saturday and Sunday.

The new policy kicked off on July 1.

The 80 persons were arrested for 86 offences which ranged from driving without seatbelts to making phone calls while driving, Mr. Kazeem said.

On Saturday, Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, deployed a team of road traffic marshals to major roads around Abuja, in a new operation codenamed ‘Cobra Squad.’

Mr. Kazeem said 19 people were arrested on the first day for 22 offences.

On Sunday, 61 offenders were arrested for 64 violations, Mr. Kazeem said.

Driving while making phone calls and driving without seatbelts were the most prevalent infractions — at 27 and 23 instances, respectively.

Mr. Oyeyemi said probing mental stability of road traffic offenders will help curb abuses and promote sanity on the road.

But some psychiatrists have criticised the policy as ‘reckless’ and ’embarrassing.’

Ambrose Lawani, a psychiatrist based in Benin City, said the FRSC did not consider some crucial factors before announcing the policy.

“They cannot implement psychiatric tests without putting key arrangements in place,” Mr. Lawani said.

For one, Mr. Lawani said, traffic offences are part of normal social misbehaviours that require only caution through fines rather than being seen as mental disorders.

Another major concern is that the policy “would be a serious distraction for psychiatric doctors in the country because of the high number of individuals that will be forced to take tests when those with genuine mental illnesses are not even getting the treatment they require,” Mr. Lawani said.

Similarly, he said FRSC did not outline what will happen to any offender shown to be suffering mental disorder after evaluation.

“Anyone found to be suffering mental disorder cannot be allowed to go home without proper treatment,” Mr. Lawani said. “If the person doesn’t have money, who will pick the bill?”

Dumping hundreds of drivers in mental health centres will only worsen the centres and little budget they receive, which has been stagnant since 2006, the psychiatrist said.

“Nigeria is in for a big embarrassment with this hasty and poorly-researched policy that will soon somersault like others before it,” he said.

The doctor advised the FRSC to consult psychiatrists across the country for a possible synergy on how the policy could be properly implemented without disrupting existing arrangements for mental health evaluation and treatment.

But Mr. Oyeyemi said mental evaluation requirement was not unusual in road traffic enforcement and likened it to the process of obtaining a driving licence.

“This is one of the criteria before you obtain a licence,” he said.


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  • laki

    I have said many times. traffic offence has nothing to do with mental check up. This is absurd

  • daniel

    It’s illegal for the FRSC to embark on this exercise. There is no law backing them to do it. Therefore offending drivers should not agree to submit themselves to it. If compelled to do so they seek legal redress.

    • Kallah Bature

      Yes.Social responsibility should be the paramount concern of any serious government,especially the one that promised change like APC.To leave the populace to the vagaries of irresponsible policies of unserious government organisations like the FRSC is definitely a serious let down.

  • lavard Isa

    Perhaps the FRSC Boss and his officers should be the first ones to get a mental health check up for coming up with this absurd idea.

    • Kallah Bature

      I agree with you 100%,owing to the simple fact that not long one of their senior officers was caught on camera shaving the hair of his female surbodinates.How are we sure there are not many of them like him needing mental evaluation? This is a terrible policy which will definitely be abused by FRSC personnel.Corrupt individuals among them may hijack it for personal reasons.The National Assembly must stop this nonsense.

  • Tuesday

    Liars. I am so sure that some of those drivers taken for test were as a result of lack of C-Caution, fire extinguisher, worn out tires etc. and refusal to give bribe. You now wonder what mental check has to do with all that.

    Very soon, Nigerians will know the idea behind this absurd mental check policy. The former FRSC boss, Chidioka or Amadioah (I am not sure of his name again) came up with a new plate number policy through which he enriched himself. Boboye is also trying to enrich himself too.

    • Ali Mubi

      I think so as well.Billions were allegedly siphoned through a crooked policy of forcing new number plates by previous FRSC administration.This one may not be different.The government and law makers must probe the FRSC, especially the obsession of the Commandant to determine his true mental health.

  • Stanley

    For driving without seat belt and making phone calls require only packing the offenders for 2 hours. I thought they will go for those that drive against the traffic, those army, banks and police that drive recklessly with bullion vans, those trailers that carry containers without strapping and those that carry smoky vehicles and truck that break down on the roads. I thought they will arrest those govt officials that ignore bad roads, and those FRSC officials that will not issue renewed licenses to drivers until they expire again. These are the serious traffic offenses that require immediate referral for mental evaluation.