The Federal Road Safety Corps on Thursday said it had in the last three months referred 2,143 drivers to specialist hospitals to ascertain their...

The Federal Road Safety Corps on Thursday said it had in the last three months referred 2,143 drivers to specialist hospitals to ascertain their mental health status.

It said the motorists were among 2,360 arrested for various traffic offences in Abuja as part of its Operation Cobra, an initiative for the arrest and prosecution of motorists found to have violated traffic rules towards restoring sanity to the nation’s highways.

The Corps Marshal, FRSC, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, gave the figures in Lagos on Thursday at a press briefing to mark the beginning of the 10th ‘Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign’ co-sponsored by the Nigerian Brewery Plc to improve road safety nationwide.

Oyeyemi, who spoke through the Corps’ Public Education Officer, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, also said between February 1, 2017 and September 20, 2017, 66,774 vehicles were found to have speed-limiting devices out of 165,040 commercial vehicles stopped by the FRSC patrol teams for routine checks, translating to 40.5 per cent compliance.

According to the corps marshal, the result of the psychological evaluation enables the FRSC “to take appropriate action in line with extant law.”

He said traffic offenders were stopped and “issued referral notes to visit designated hospitals for psychological evaluation to ascertain their mental health status.”

“As an intelligence-driven government agency, corps’ findings at the early part of the year identified some road vices such as traffic light violation, route violation, use of phone while driving and reckless driving as the most prevalent among other causative factors of road crashes,” Oyeyemi added.

The FRSC chief executive said since October 1, 2016 when the corps received the presidential directive to commence a nationwide advisory enforcement of the speed- limiting device installation, non-compliant drivers were not issued fine tickets but only “advised to install this device.”

The Nigerian Breweries, in a speech delivered by its Corporate Affairs Adviser, Mr. Kufre Ekanem, said the DDD campaign involved enlightenment rallies for drivers in various cities, media messages with free medical checks and eye test for motorists.

Nurudeen Adegbenro