Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone this afternoon that Nigerians should not misinterpret the content of an internal memo that was leaked a few days ago.
The circular, dated December 27, 2016, was widely distributed on social media.
It contained instructions to all commands of the FRSC across the country to the effect that road traffic officials should not book any driver whose vehicle has no fire extinguisher and other accessories on demand.
The memo, signed by Deputy Corps Marshal, Ojeme Ewhrudjakpor, on behalf of the Corps Marshal, also said the commission had relaxed enforcement on other violations such as a lack of light sign or caution sign.
Some motorists welcomed the circular and lauded the FRSC for its implementation.
But Mr. Oyeyemi clarified issues around the memo with PREMIUM TIMES, saying Nigerians should not allow themselves to be misled.
The Corps Marshal said the circular was only part of measures his office put in place to ensure free flow of traffic during the Yuletide.
“The circular was distributed as part of our end-of-year patrol activities because of the usually heavy traffic flow for the season,” Mr. Oyeyemi said. “It was done to ensure that we prioritise safety on the road as well as free traffic flow over enforcement.”
“The end-of-year patrol will end on January 15, 2017 and we implore Nigerians to be law abiding and ensure that they have all their road safety essentials intact.”
Mr. Oyeyemi said road safety marshals were instructed to focus on primary road traffic violations and warn drivers on secondary offences.
Offences such as over speeding, reckless overtaking and overloading are considered primary because of the immediate danger they pose to road users.
While motorists who have no fire extinguishers, cracked windscreen and road caution signs will only be warned but not booked within the end-of-the-year patrol period.
Speaking further on the matter, Bisi Kazeem, the spokesman for the FRSC, said Nigerians should not discard their road safety requirements at anytime.
“The end-of-the-year patrol will end by January 15 and enforcement will return to normal,” Mr. Kazeem said. “Any driver caught without fire extinguisher or light signs and other accessories will be fined in addition to the primary offences he commits.”
He said a new memo that would override the ones being circulated would be sent to FRSC commands across the country once the end-of-year patrol window closes.
The FRSC urged Nigerians to abide by road safety standards and bring any dangerous situation on the roads to its attention.