Traffic Offenders Evaluation: NGO Advocates Partnership With Psychiatric Organisations

Traffic Offenders Evaluation: NGO Advocates Partnership With Psychiatric Organisations

Mr Ameh Zion, the President of Mandate Health Empowerment Initiative (MHEI), an NGO, has called on Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to partner psychiatric organisations in the evaluation of traffic offenders.

He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday, in reaction to FRSC’s mental examination on traffic law breakers expected to begin nationwide on July 1.

The commission said the examination would focus on life-threatening violations such on use of phone while driving, route violation, traffic light violation, dangerous driving and overloading.

Zion, who lauded the initiative, however, stressed the need for partnership with related organisations to achieve the desired results.

He said “I do not see the possibility of this operation achieving the objective without collaboration with NGOs and other bodies who are already knowledgeable about mental health.

“A lot needs to be put in place as regards the psychiatric evaluation of traffic offenders.

“How many assessment centres do we have in the states; how many locations do we have traffic lights and how many psychologists do we have compared to the number of likely offenders.

“The vehicles we have on our roads today are many as against the number of traffic check points we have.

“If people break traffic rules, how many officials do we have in all these locations to arrest the situation.

“I want to advice FRSC to work with already trained professionals in the concerned field so that they can fully assist in addressing the situation.”

The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, on June 12, announced that the commission would commence enforcement of psychiatric tests on traffic law offenders in the country.

He said this was necessitated by continued violation of traffic rules in spite of
efforts by the corps to change the behaviour of motorists through education and enforcement.

The test will focus on four areas of violations — use of phone while driving, traffic light and route violations, as well as dangerous driving.

Offenders who were caught would be referred to various government hospitals for mental health check.

He said enforcement will start on July 1, 2017.

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