Stiffer penalties for road traffic offenders across board are underway, according to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).
The Corps Marshal, Oyeyemi Boboye, made this disclosure at the weekend, saying that the commission had lost 74 of its officials due to reckless acts of some drivers in the last 18 months.
Boboye said that the commission would stop at nothing to bring killers of his personnel to justice,adding that plans were already on for road traffic offenders to be meted stiffer punishment.
He said: “In the last 18 months I have lost about 74 lives. We will not stop at ensuring the prosecution of those errand drivers. It is my responsibility to ensure the safety of my personnel on the highway, so if you knock down my personnel and you are running away, I will go after you.”
On one of the root causes of accidents on the roads, Boboye said: “It was discovered during the last Sallah patrols that 30 per cent of articulated vehicle drivers do not see at night. It is the motor boys that drive them.
“So, we conducted vision test on the highway and motor parks and we observed that 30 percent of the articulated vehicle drivers have vision problem and that is also contributing to the crashes.
“We discovered during the interview session that they think if they use glasses, they will lose their jobs. Employers should be training their drivers and encourage them with glasses to enhance driving skills.
“We have observed and presented the report and we hope the employers will be able to address this. We have communicated this to the owners. When drivers have vision problem, they should go to optometrist who will refer them to optamlogist to correct their sights.
“We are also talking to them on the need to have speed limit control on their vehicles. The price has come down to N15,000 so the noise about cost isn’t valid anymore.”
Boboye said a great number of drivers do not know how to drive, blaming driving schools for not living up to expectation.
He said: “We presently have 1,450 registered driving schools and over 500 were suspended due to malpractices and not following the process. This led to the commission suggesting to the 36 state governments to set up modern driving schools in order to checkmate some of these offences.
“Traffic regulation provides that when a driver accumulates 10, 15 or 21 points, he’s to be sent back to the driving school for re-training, but the present driving schools have not provided enough platforms for retraining those drivers for specific offences.
“I am happy to have received positive responses from some state governments because it is another means of internally generated revenue for them.”