Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola on Monday recommended community service as a penalty for traffic offenders in the country.
He also urged the legislature to become more innovative in its penalties that will be enacted into law in order to effectively reduce accidents on the roads adding the behaviour of some road users who violate road traffic rules endanger the safety of others.
Fashola made the proposal in Abuja at the House of Representatives public hearing on a proposed Bill to amend the Federal Road Safety Commission Act 2004.
“The penalties proposed in the bill seem to focus on custodian and peculiar to the extent that they have existed for quite a while without seeing an appreciable reduction in the incidents.
“Perhaps parliament can be a little more daring and a little more innovative in some of the kinds of penalties it wants to consider. Irrespective of the fine, they will commit the offence anyway.
“So parliament in this sense is invited to consider sanctions like community service, “the Minister added.
Sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jagaba Jagaba explained that the rate of deaths recorded from road accidents motivated him to initiate the amendment of the Act.
“Worried by the rate of deaths prevailing on our roads I began to wonder why this is so.
“Sadly my personal experiences on our highways provided me with strong conviction that most accidents are not mainly as a result of bad roads but bad driving habits. This gave me the impetus to initiate the amendment of the Act.
“For instance most roads in the city centre of Abuja are well paved and tarred yet on daily basis one keeps seeing scenes of accidents on the same good roads, “the law maker said.
Jagaba said the proposed bill also intends to curtail driving against the prescribed manner such as violation of traffic lights, use of extra headlamps at night and hitting a pedestrian on zebra crossing.