CITIZENS COMPASS – THE Spokesman, Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), FCT, Mr Kalu Emetu, says the N25,000 the service charges motorists for the replacement of faded number plates is legal and justifiable based on its mandate.
Emetu made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that what people failed to understand was that there was no way the agency would replace faded number plates to motorists free of charge, after they have used them for a period of time.
“The question people normally ask is, why should we charge motorists or ask them to pay fine for what they got from us.
“You see, everything in life has its life span. A situation where somebody uses a number plate say two to three years, not minding the way the person was using it and gets faded.
“Therefore, it is wrong for the person to feel that another one should be given to him or her free of charge,” he said.
According to him, one of the major reasons why most of the number plates do not last or fades easily is basically the way and manner the owners handle them.
The spokesman added that some of them go as far using chemicals to wash their cars in the name of making them looking crispy at the expense of the number plates.
“Even the vehicles itself, the colour it comes with, does not retain it for years after a while it changes or fades away outrightly.
So, the way most people use, clean or wash their vehicles contributes so much to the life span of the number plates even the car itself, ” he said.
On which law empowers the service to impose fine on motorists, the spokesman explained that section 299, 301 and 302, of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria empowers DRTS to do so.
According to him, it also empowers the service to impound vehicles and prosecute the owners when it is logically proved of having committed any traffic offence be it faded number plate.
“Mind you number plates are for identification, it is expected to see that the number is visibly seen from at least 20 metres away.
” And, in a situation where it is not, it simply means that it cannot perform the function with which it is meant for. So, such vehicles can be used to perpetrate crimes in the society.
” So, on our own part as the custodians of the usage of such vehicles on the roads, inline with the mandate given to us we are suppose to see it as not good enough to the society by doing the needful.
“Therefore, if we fail to do the needful, chances are that it may create a chain of problems to the society.
“So, that is why we make sure that such vehicles that bears number plates and will not give full identity of that vehicle, is sorted out from others,” he said in justifying the fee of the replacement of the faded plates.
He said that all these efforts were geared towards bringing sanity to the roads in the FCT as well as its residents.