In the survey covering states in the Northwest geopolitical zone, respondents say although Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Police personnel, as well as Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) at times over-stepped their bounds, such behaviours were often ‘reactions’ to attitude of law-breakers.
They said a lot of Nigerians took pleasure in breaking traffic laws, sometimes endangering the lives of law-abiding citizens in the process.
The respondents also noted that gross corruption in the system had been serving as impetus to such behaviour as culprits believed ‘money’ will get them out of trouble, even if lives were at stake.
They however called for restraint on the part of law enforcement officers, adding that their training incorporated studies of human behaviour and self control.
“An officer is expected to be firm and friendly in dealing with motorists because motorist are also human beings like us.
A motorist , Malam Umar Yusuf , said the manner of approach from both sides (road users and personnel) had always been the major area of conflict.
“If a law enforcement personnel conducts himself in a civil manner , you as motorist ought to complement”, he said.
Also, a commercial motorist, Mr Peter Sunday, called for intensification of enlightenment.
“Most of the time , motorists break the law but as a law enforcement officers, you are expected to be civil in your response ,”he said.
Gummi explained that the laws mandated corps personnel to ensure safer motoring environment.
“In enforcing traffic rules and regulations, the FRSC operatives treat road traffic offenders with respect and courtesy.
“The FRSC staff are very civil and it is this sense of civility inculcated in them that motorists are using to be violent against FRSC patrol teams”, he said.
Gummi also revealed that the corps in recent time had devised a means to tackle some of those problems.
“The use of body camera by patrol team during patrol was recently introduced and it has since started yielding good result because the rate at which FRSC patrol teams are being assaulted, has drastically reduced.
“The use of body camera started in Abuja and it will go round all FRSC commands in the country”, the PRO said.
Meanwhile, Zamfara Command of the FRSC said it had requested for body camera for use by personnel as part of efforts to monitor their conducts.
He said the command often took decisive measure on few found to have exhibited any form of misconduct.
Also commenting on the matter, the Chief VIO in Zamfara, Malam Nasiru Usman, said there had been few cases of misconduct by personnel, but it was also difficult to identify person at fault between the road user and the VIO.
“The office finds it difficult to established fact when both parties claim to be innocent, so there is need to come up with some measures that would help establish facts easily.
Alhaji Abdullah’s Labaran, FRSC spokesperson in Kano, said that apart from enforcement of traffic rules and regulations, the corps also educated motorists on road safety measures.
He said most times, road users provoked negative reactions, but that personnel were admonished to be civil.
He said there were instances when road marshals got knocked down deliberately by defaulting motorists trying to escape the long arm of the law.
Meanwhile, in Katsina, a cross sections of commercial motorcyclists and motorists have decried harassment and intimidation by operatives of FRSC and the Police on highways.
They also observed over-lapping in functions of FRSC, VIO and Police, arguing that such overlap had been responsible for disagreement between personnel and road users.
On his part, a public affair commentator in Sokoto, Malam Ibrahim Doki, urged VIO,FRS and Police personnel, to fine-tune their conducts .