Mr Chidiebere Nkwonta, Sector Commander, Cross River Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on Tuesday disclosed that enforcing road safety should not be at all cost.
Nkwonta said in Calabar that the commission had an operational guideline in handling road traffic offenders which officers were taught during training.
“When an officer tries to apprehend a traffic offender and he is not complying, depending on his level of aggression, the officer should consider whether trying to apprehend him would endanger the life of the driver and the motoring environment and if it would its best to let him go’’.
The Sector Commander stated that although his men could not let everybody who resists the law go free, arresting a traffic offender should only be done within the confines of reasons.
He said the commission would punish any officer who steps out of the line, adding that FRSC had zero tolerance for misconduct.
“Our officers know their basic drills, they apprehend you and talk to you politely, they let you know your offence, then they issue you a ticket if you have your papers but if you don’t have your papers, they impound the vehicle.
“When traffic offenders resist arrest, you don’t expect road safety officers to just applaud and let them go, if they do that, they would be entertainers and no one will take the commission seriously.
“I know sometimes my men are pushed to the extent that they are forced to exhibit some unprofessional conducts, we let them know that arresting a traffic offender should not be at all cost,” he said.
Nkwonta added that motor crashes were on the increase in the state, saying it’s the responsibility of all to see that it was reduced.
“People need to know that between January and June, the number of deaths resulting from crashes have surpassed that of the whole of last year put together and it is not a good story for the state.
“Cross River is not a traditional high traffic density area and the road network is not complex. So, I don’t see the reason why we should have these types of crashes and fatality rate in the state, it is appalling, we need all hands to be on deck to curb this ugly trend.
“Everybody has a responsibility, the media, the agencies, the drivers and even the commuters who sit in the vehicles and allow the drivers to drive recklessly,” he said.
Nkwonta had earlier revealed that the rate of crashes in the state increased by about 125 per cent in the first half of 2019 compared with the number of crashes in the first half of 2018. (NAN)