The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has warned road users to abide by traffic rules and regulations, and the COVID-19 protocol during the Christmas and New Year period.
Dr Kayode Olagunju, the RS4 Zonal Commanding Officer, and Assistant Corps Marshal said any road user and transport fleet operators that failed to abide with this would risk arrest and prosecution.
Olagunju gave the warning in a statement by Acting Public Education Officer, Route Commander Olusegun Owoeye in Jos, to herald the Zone’s commencement of the nationwide operation tagged: “Operation Zero’’.
The Zone 4 Command comprising three states of Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa. The special operation from Dec.15 to Jan. 15, 2021, focusses on speeding, dangerous driving, overtaking violation, lane and route violation, obstruction, use of cell phone while driving, use of mechanically deficient vehicle, among others.
Admonishing road users to comply with the traffic laws as according to him, Olagunju said that some recalcitrant offenders would spend the Christmas and New Year period behind the bars.
According to him, some can be arrested by road crashes and spend the period in hospitals. The commander reminded them that traffic violations do result in fatal crashes, urging all road users to strive to stay alive.
Olagunju said: “A total number of 1,916 personnel and 1,108 Special Marshals would be engaged in Traffic Management, Rescue Services and Enforcement during the period.
“All operational vehicles and other logistics shall be fully deployed for maximum impacts.”
He said that Mobile Courts would be set up along major corridors in the zone to try erring drivers and other road users.
“All arrested violators will be arraigned before the Magistrates and they stand the risks of fines payment ranging between N2,000 and N50,000.
“It depends on the nature of the offences and/or imprisonment terms ranging from two to six months as may be decided by the Mobile Courts,” the zonal commanding officer, RS4, said.
He said that during the period, there would be 24 hours operations, which would include the establishment of Traffic Control Camps, Help Areas at old Toll Gate, Makurdi and “Many Have Gone” on the Akwanga – Lafia Road.
“There will also be full activation of the Ambulance points as well as Road Side Clinics for rescue and Emergency Management Services.
“All the major corridors in the zone such as the Abuja – Keffi; Gwantu – Jos; Akwanga – Lafia – Makurdi; Lafia – Shendam – Langtang – Pankshin – Jos, Jos – Bauchi, Saminaka – Jos; Gboko – Katsina-Ala, Gboko – Aliade; Otukpo – Otukpa – Obollo Afor would be adequately covered.”
Olagunju enjoined members of the public to inform the FRSC formations of road obstructions, gridlocks, Road Traffic Crashes and other emergency issues requiring FRSC attention on the toll-free telephone number 122 or 0700 CALLFRSC (0700 2255 377).
He also advised all motor park operators in the three states to fully comply with the COVID-19 protocols such as the position of handwashing facilities, 50 per cent passengers carrying capacity to ensure social distancing.
“Passengers are also enjoined to always put on their face masks, observe social distancing, regularly wash their hands with soap and running water and apply hand sanitizer.
“They should also always caution their drivers whenever they attempt to break the traffic laws,” the zonal commanding officer said.
Olagunju also said that the corps would collaborate with the Military, sister security agencies, Fire Service and other stakeholders such as the media and non-governmental organisations to ensure a successful operation.