The Lagos Corps Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Babatunde Farinloye, has urged motorists to stop driving with faded number plates to avoid prosecution.
Farinloye gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.
He said that motorists should always use water and soap to wash the number plate of their vehicles to prevent it from fading.
According to him, it will take six years for the number plate to expire, though it can develop some problems such as being damaged and fading before the expiry date.
He said that the purpose of using number plates was for proper identification and security, also personalised for each vehicle.
“A vehicle can be used to commit a crime and if that happens, we can track it on our National Vehicle Identification Scheme.
“It is expected that the number plate should be replaced after six years except the security feature are intact and it will be visible within 60 metres distance.
“Number plate can fade easily which can be as a result of chemicals being used to wash the car.
“If the number plate fades, you have to replace it. If the number plate is damaged, you have to replace it and motorists should stop using private number plates for commercial purposes.
“If you look at the top right of the number plate, you will see the expiry date. Normally, a number plate can be used for six years before it totally fades, ” Farinloye said.
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The corps commander further said that FRSC only produced number plates while the State Government Motor Licensing Authority under the Board of Internal Revenue issued number plates and replacement.
He said that motorists should quickly inform the authority whenever they discover any defect on their number plates for necessary replacement.
Farinloye noted that the offence of faded number plates had been in the FRSC system since inception and was captured under number plate violation.
“There are so many offences rated under the number plate violation such as broken number plate, faded number plate, covered number plate, non-use of the number plate and we have misuse of number plate.
“The misuse of the number plate means that one is using a private number plate for commercial use.
“These are the categories of offences that fall within this violation,” he explained.
Farinloye said that the faded number plate was presently generating a lot of interest, as it had moral and security implications.
“Moral in the sense that, if you are driving and hit somebody and escape, how do you expect the law enforcement agency to get the number plate of the vehicle that absconded from that point?
“Especially in the situation of hit and run, the act says the number plate should be visible by 60 metres distance.
“If your number plate has faded, there is no way we can record that.
“So many people have used faded number plates to perpetrate atrocities and that became an issue while trying to identify such vehicles,” he said.
The corps commander said that due to misuse of the number plate, the government made the decision that if it fades, the owner should replace it immediately.
”It takes two weeks to process a number plate,” he pointed out.
Farinloye said that there were guidelines on the issuance of new number plates and urged motorists to keep them.
He said that faded or damaged number plates attracted a N3,000 fine under the plate number violation of FRSC.
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