The Federal Road Safety Corps is the government agency in Nigeria with statutory responsibility for road safety administration. The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), established in 1988, is Nigeria’s premier organization for managing and administering road safety. Furthermore, it operates in all 36 states as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
The FRSC’s statutory duties include making highways safe for drivers and other road users, evaluating vehicle roadworthiness, recommending works and infrastructures to prevent or reduce highway accidents, and informing drivers and the general public about the importance of highway road discipline.
Furthermore, the FRSC is currently led by Dauda Ali Biu. The Corps Marshal is the highest ranking official, and the officials are tasked with ending traffic accidents and establishing a safe driving environment in Nigeria.
The FRSC was established in Nigeria in 1988, when General Ibrahim Babangida, the country’s President, decided that action was required due to the country’s high rate of traffic accidents. The first commission was chaired by Wole Soyinka, a professor and activist.
Meanwhile, prior to the establishment of the FRSC, the then-President, General Ibrahim Babangida, decided that it was past time to act due to the country’s high risk of traffic accidents. As a result, many organizations in the past, including Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), made notable efforts between 1960 and 1965 to establish a strong road safety program.
The Nigerian Army made an effort to train its officers and soldiers on road safety early in the 1970s, which helped to advance ideas and awareness in that country. The Nigerian Army launched the first public road safety campaign when it established an annual Road Safety Week in 1972.
Furthermore, the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), established in 1974 by the then-in-power military administration, was the first intentional policy on road safety. The Commission’s influence, however, did not last.
The military administration in Oyo State, Nigeria, established the Oyo State Road Safety Corps in 1977, and it significantly improved local traffic safety and road discipline. That lasted until 1983, when the federal government dissolved it.
The Nigerian government recognized the need to establish the current Federal Road Safety Corps to address the carnage on the highways as a result of the country’s continuing dangerous trend of road traffic accidents at the time, which led to it being one of the most RTA-prone countries in the world (the most in Africa) in 2013.
The FRSC Establishment Act
According to a report published during the FRSC’s creation stage, the federal government began looking for a reliable and practical solution to the problem as a result of an unfavorable trend in the country’s road traffic system, which led to an increase in road traffic accidents.
However, as the number of automobiles on the road increased, so did the need for an on-road safety policy. As the number of traffic accidents increased, the government felt compelled to act. Driving in Nigeria was once considered one of the most dangerous activities in the world. In other words, the agency was established to address this issue in particular, as well as a variety of others.
In February 1988, the Federal Government established the Federal Road Safety Commission through Decree No. 45 of 1988, as amended by Decree 35 of 1992, known in statute as the FRSC Act cap 141 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), and adopted by the National Assembly as the Federal Road Safety Corps (establishment) Act 2007.
Statutory Functions of the FRSC
The following are the functions of the Federal Road Safety Corp, as stated in the act that established the institution.
- Preventing or minimizing accidents on the highway;
- Clearing obstructions on any part of the highways;
- Educating drivers, motorists and other members of the public generally on the proper use of the highways;
- Designing and producing the driver’s license to be used by various categories of vehicle operators;
- Determining, from time to time, the requirements to be satisfied by an applicant for a driver’s licence;
- Designing and producing vehicle number plates
- The standardization of highway traffic codes;
- Giving prompt attention and care to victims of accidents
- Conducting research into causes of motor accidents and methods of preventing them and putting into use the result of such research;
- Determining and enforcing speed limits for all categories of roads and vehicles and controlling the use of speed limiting devices;
- Cooperating with bodies or agencies or groups in road safety activities or in the prevention of accidents on the highways;
- Making regulations in pursuance of any of the functions assigned to the Corps by or under this Act.
- Regulating the use of sirens, flashers and beacon lights on vehicles other than ambulances and vehicles belonging to the Armed Forces, Nigeria Police, Fire Service and other Para-military agencies;
- Providing roadside and mobile clinics for the treatment of accident victims free of charge;
- Regulating the use of mobile phones by motorists;
- Regulating the use of seat belts and other safety devices;
- Regulating the use of motorcycles on the highway;
- Maintaining the validity period for drivers’ licences which shall be three years subject to renewal at the expiration of the validity period
However, members of the Commission have the authority to detain and prosecute anyone when performing these duties and have a reasonable suspicion that they have committed any traffic infraction.