The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Friday drew the battle line with traffic law violators with the inauguration of a special patrol team codenamed Cobra Squad in the FCT.
According to Bisi Kazeem, Corps Public Education Officer, FRSC, the move came a day before the planned nationwide enforcement of mental stability/psychological examination of traffic offenders by the Corps.
The exercise will focus on life threatening violations such as use of phone while driving, route violation, traffic light violation, dangerous driving and overloading.
Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, inaugurated the squad along with 10 well-equipped patrol motorcycles, five vans and an ambulance dedicated to the exercise in the FCT.
Mr. Oyeyemi said he would personally lead the FCT squad, adding that similar teams and logistics would be deployed subsequently at the zonal level before the end of July.
He explained the special patrol would be outside the normal patrol activities of the Corps in the FCT and other parts of the country.
“Let me sound a note of warning to all road users: the Corps will not tolerate any form of assault on its personnel.
“With the support of the Federal Ministry of Justice if need be, I will press for maximum punishment of culprits and ensure that I send them to jail.
“FRSC officials are law enforcement agents funded by the government to ensure the safety of Nigerians on the road, but road users especially passengers are fund of assaulting them.
“I will get them arrested and with the help of the Inspector-General of Police, criminal cases will be filed against them. It is not a threat, I have started that already,’’ he said.
The Corps Marshal said flashpoints of traffic violations in the territory would be effectively manned by FRSC officials backed by ambulances.
Mr. Oyeyemi, who said his announcement of the mental stability test had been misinterpreted by a section of the public, said the Corps would remain focused in the discharge of its responsibilities.
“I have never said the issue of psychiatric test or any form, I am very focused on what I am doing, I will take them (offenders) to the appropriate hospital and they will run a mental and psychological evaluation to confirm they are fit for driving.
“This is one of the criteria before you obtain licence. I just want to reconfirm the mental and psychological state of offenders before the appropriate sanctions are meted out on them.
“The issue of fine does not come in, we need a firm approach to this, and the National Assembly has said it that we should improve on our enforcement.
“The Executive has also said it and we are getting the full backing of the Judiciary. So, this is a note of warning to reckless drivers.’’
He said the Corps must not allow a few lawless drivers to endanger the lives of other road users, urging all hands to be on deck in the FRSC to restore sanity to the nation’s highways.
He solicited the cooperation and support of members of the public, private and commercial drivers and other road users.
Mr. Oyeyemi urged members of the public to make use of the FRSC emergency in reporting traffic law violators.