By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos – Dr Kayode Olagunju, the Zonal Commanding Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Zone 4, Jos, on Monday cautioned motorists against illegal covering of their Vehicle Number Plates.
Olagunju, an Assistant Corps Marshal, in charge of Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa, gave the warning in a statement by Mr Terry Hoomlong, the acting Zonal Public Education Officer.
He said: “We are using this medium to warn motorists to desist from the illegal act of covering their number plates.
“This illegal act is common among the political class and senior government officials in the zone, comprising Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa States.
“This illegal conduct has both safety and security implications.
“Section 10 (4) (h) and 10(4) (s) of the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007, makes it mandatory for vehicle identification mark (Number Plates) to be conspicuously displayed on the vehicle.
“Also, the National Road Traffic Regulations (NRTR) 2012 in Sections 36 and 39 make it an Offence, not to properly display Vehicle Identification Number on any vehicle plying Nigerian roads.”
He said that such vehicle would be impounded, while the drivers/owners would be arrested and prosecuted in line with the extant laws.
Olagunju, however, called on all motorists to ensure that they properly register their vehicles with the appropriate authorities, and also display their Vehicle Identification Plate to avoid any form of embarrassment.
He also advised the motoring public that proper registration of vehicle was of great benefit to the owner of a vehicle, especially in the areas of safety and security.
According to him, in the event of vehicle theft, the robust National Vehicle Identification database, which has records of all registered vehicles in Nigeria, will provide detailed information for identification and possible recovery.
Olagunju added: “The database is also accessible to other security agencies working in synergy with the FRSC.
“All commands of the FRSC in the zone ZCO have been directed to strictly enforce the laws by impounding all vehicles that carry illegal number plates and those having the plates hidden.
“Operators of such vehicles are to be arraigned before the Mobile or Regular Courts where they stand the risks of fines payment of Three thousand naira (N3, 000) and or two to six months imprisonment.”
Olagunju said that many of the violators were also in the habit of driving dangerously, hiding under the illusion that they could not be tracked as the vehicle plates were covered.
He reminded the public that dangerous driving attracts N50, 000 fines and or six months imprisonment.