Use of Transparent Blue Plastic on Vehicle Number Plate Not an Offence – Court

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The High Court of Cross River State in Suit No. HC/363/2017 filed by a legal Practitioner DANIEL KIP against the FEDERAL ROAD SAFETY COMMISSION vide an application pursuant to the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, 2009, has in a judgment delivered on 5th November, 2018, held that the use of the transparent blue plastic on Vehicle Number plate does not constitute the offence of Vehicle Number Plate violation or any other offence under the Federal Road Safety Act or Section 37 (1) (d) (i) of the National Road Traffic (Amendment) Regulations, 2016. The said section reads thus:

“A Vehicle identification Number Plate shall not be tempered with, altered or covered with any material AS TO OBSCURE OR ALTER THE LETTERING” (emphasis ours).

It was the argument of the Applicant, Daniel Kip, Esq., whose vehicle was impounded by Federal Road Safety Commission sometime in September, 2017, that the transparent blue plastic on his vehicle number plate, having not obscured or altered the lettering on his vehicle number plate, does not amount to the offence of vehicle number plate violation.

Honourable Justice A. E. Ayade in upholding the said arguments of the Applicant, entered judgment in favour of the Applicant and ordered the refund of the N3,000.00 paid as fine, in addition to monetary damages, and a perpetual injunction restraining the Federal Road Safety Commission from further apprehending, fining and impounding the Vehicle of the Applicant for the alleged offence as a result of the said transparent blue plastic on the Vehicle.

It is hoped that in the face of this judgment the Federal Road Safety Commission will desist from harassing and intimidating road users over the use of the said transparent blue plastic on Vehicles.

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