By Kelechi Ogunleye
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), in collaboration with security agencies, have deployed about 100 personnel to arrest traffic flow violators.
Mr Wadata Bodinga, Director, Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), stated this on Monday during an inspection visit to a mobile court set up to prosecute traffic offenders in the FCT.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of FCT, Muhammad Bello, on Feb.26 flagged-off a ministerial action against traffic violation.
The ministerial taskforce team comprises of men of the Nigeria Police Force, Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Federal Road Safety Corps and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
It has a mandate to ensure compliance with all traffic rules and regulations by road users.
The DRTS boss said that officers and men of the taskforce had been deployed to ensure that the directives of the FCT minister to ensure sane roads in the territory were strictly adhered to.
“Some offenders were apprehended on Monday and the Mobile Court is sitting. At this mobile court, there about 21 vehicles impounded due to several road traffic offenses and still counting.
“The owners of the vehicles are before the Magistrate to have their fines, penalties and court judgement as the case may be,’’ he said.
He stressed that it was important to note that anyone found guilty of traffic offenses would undergo a compulsory two weeks emotional evaluation.
“Aside of fines, anybody who beats traffic lights, uses a phone while driving, drives against traffic flow or drives dangerously, will go for emotional evaluation.
“Such persons must undergo a compulsory two-week lecture so that they will be accustomed with to rules and regulations guiding driving in this city.
“I cannot imagine someone in his emotional sense or right state of mind will beat traffic lights or drive against traffic flow,’’ he said.
According to Bodinga, a deliberate preparation took place on Feb. 28 with officers and men of the security agencies at Eagle Square to prepare them for the road operation.
He charged men of the taskforce to be civil and avoid excessive chase of offenders to avoid crashes.
“We have to find a tactical way and approach to get the cooperation of motorists.
“In a situation where you cannot arrest an offender if he drives off, the bike riders can ensure they copy his plate number for further enforcement,’’ he said.
Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, one of the alleged road violators said that he was apprehended by men of the FCT Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), stating that he was on a phone call although his phone settings was on hands-free.
“I am very ignorant about this law that I was meant to park to make or answer my call before I continue driving and so that was my offence this afternoon.
“I am presently waiting to face a judge at the Mobile Court situated here. I am just on the list and I think after two or three people I will be called upon to face the judge.
“I don’t know what my penalty will be, but I pray it’s a lenient one.
“I think they are very professional with their operations as the Director of VIO was here himself and was able to explain part of the law to me and I understood their angle.
“The officers on ground too have been professional in explaining to offenders what their offences are and likely punishment and everything has been cordial here due to the presence of a Mobile Court,’’ he said.
Another alleged traffic offender, Mr John Sunday, admitted that he violated the traffic light by stopping at a Zebra crossing.
“I actually violated the traffic light by stopping at a Zebra crossing at which they said it had been announced before that crossing it is a violation, but I didn’t know about it.
“I was apprehended and they brought me here and I think I will have to pay a certain amount of money.
“But the issue here now is that some people were actually arrested earlier, but they allowed them to go, which is really unfair,’’ Sunday said.