Reps move to legalise use of Bluetooth gadgets for drivers above 21years – Premium Times
A bill to legalise the use of Bluetooth devices and other hands-free gadgets for drivers of 21years of age and above has been introduced in the House of Representatives.
The bill is sponsored by Ibrahim Hamza (APC, Kaduna) and if passed into law, drivers above 21years can use any of those devices while driving.
The bill, introduced on Tuesday, intends to amend section 10 (4) of the Federal Road Safety Commission (establishment) act to introduce the use of hands-free driving and car voice automated telephone systems in Nigeria.
Section 10 of the principal act provides that FRSC can arrest someone for driving while using a phone
Section 10 (4) provides that “In exercise of the functions conferred by this section, members of the corps shall have the power to arrest and prosecute person responsible or suspected of having committed any traffic offence including the following offences and serve such person with court processes or notice of offence sheet-
10(4ff) “making or receiving call while driving a vehicle.”
The bill seeks to delete this subsection “ff” and replace it with the new ff and gg.
The proposed 10 (4ff) reads as follow;
“In exercise of the functions conferred by this section, members of the corps shall have power to arrest and prosecute person responsible suspected of having committed any traffic offence including the following offences and serve such person with court processes or notice of offence sheet-
“Making or receiving; a call, voice, picture or short messaging service using either handheld or hands-free devices for drivers below the age of 21 years for school bus drivers, and for drivers of trucks, trailers, heavy earthmoving and articulate vehicles.
However, section 10(4gg) provides that a driver above 21years who is not driving a school bus, truck, trailers, heavy earthmoving and articulated vehicles, can use hands-free devices like Bluetooth earpieces, wire earpiece and others.
“Drivers over the age of 21years can use hand-free devices or car voice automated phone system if not driving any of the prohibited vehicles listed in (ff).”
Meanwhile, Mr Hamza also sponsored another bill to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The bill intends to delete item 28 in the exclusive legislative list, which is control over fingerprints, identification and criminal records. Therefore, allowing federal and sub-nationals to have control over fingerprints and criminal records.
The proposed amendment seeks to delete item 28 and create a new item 31 in the concurrent list.
The proposed item 31 reads: “the National Assembly may make laws for the federation or any part thereof with respect to fingerprints, identification and criminal records, but nothing in this shall preclude a House of Assembly from making laws for the state or any part thereof with respect to fingerprints, identification and criminal records within their state or from the state to any other state with the consent of the state government concerned.”
Both bills will need to scale other legislative hurdles to become laws.
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