The Kaduna State House of Assembly has on Wenesday, 10 May, 2017 changed the name of the Kaduna State Traffic Law and Environmental Agency (KASTELEA) to Kaduna State Traffic Laws Enforcement Authority (KASTLEA).
This followed the passage into law the bill by the law makers during its plenary sitting presided by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. John Audu Kwaturu (Kachia Constituency).
The bill which was read by the Deputy Speaker, was equally passed in to Law and it shall have certain powers such as;
“Implement and enforce the provisions of the Road Traffic Law Cap 135 Law of Kaduna State, 1991 and the Road Traffic Regulation, 2007. To direct and control traffic on public roads in the state and to decongest traffic on public roads and highways in townships of the state.”
The law also stated that the authority will be inspecting vehicles and issue certificate of road worthiness; impound vehicles that are not properly parked or causing traffic hold-up along public roads in the state; register and licence driving schools in the state; conduct driving tests and issue learners’ permit and drivers licence; impound overloaded vehicles; ensure the installation of road traffic signs and educate and enlighten vehicle users and the general public on the proper ways to use roads.
On the case of speedy trial of traffic offenders under this law, it said that shall be established by the Chief Judge of the State Mobile Courts to be presided over by Magistrates who shall sit at places to be determined from time to time for the purposes of conducting trials in respect of the offences set out in the schedules to this law.
According to the law, the proceedings of the Mobile Court shall be held in public unless the Magistrate considers otherwise in the interest of justice or public peace.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section, a traffic offender may wish to waive his right to court trial by paying the stipulated fine on the fine ticket into the designated state account.
It added that any fine imposed on any person as set out in the schedule to this law shall be paid either on the spot where it is imposed by a Mobile Court or within twenty four (24) hours where imposed by a member of the corps on duty. The offender in both instances shall obtain an official ticket showing the offence committed and the amount of fine thereof.
He added that the vehicle of any person who commits any offence under this law shall be impounded until the said fine is paid. On the default of such an offender to pay the fine, a charge shall be preferred against him in the Mobile Court or any other court where appropriate.
“Any offender who contravenes the provisions of this Law shall be subjected to mental examination to establish the state of mind of the offender. Where a vehicle is impounded for contravention of this Law, and the driver or owner of the vehicle fails to reclaim the vehicle within six months of the date of its detention, the Authority may apply to the high court for an order forfeiting the vehicle to the Authority which may then be disposed by public auction and deposit the proceeds in the government treasury” the law stated.
Speaking with Assembly Correspondents shortly after the preliminary sitting, Hon. Mukhtar Isa Hazo a member representing (Basawa Constituency) and also chairman House Committee on Works, Housing and Transportation, said the the name was changed because the State Government deemed it necessary that all environmental issues be transferred to Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency KEPA and that since the reason behind establishing KASTELEA is to replace Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), which regulates and administers issues that have to do with traffic.
According to him, if the agency is considered an authority that replaces VIO, then Its establisment should then be backed up by law in order to enforce laws related to traffic and regulate it accordingly.
Hon. Hazo said since the state government’s assumption into office two years ago, there has been a lot of changes in the administration, a lot of positive Laws have been enacted such as the KADFAMA AND PROCUREMENT AGENCY to mention just a few have been yielding positive results.
He noted that as legislators of the state, their duty is to make laws that will be viable, sustainable flexible and encompassing which will benefit the massive populace of the state.
“Whoever assaults any officer on duty or even not on duty will be punished according to the Provisions of the Penal Code Law which was passed earlier,” he said.
It would be recalled that the Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Law Agency was Established in the month of May, 2016. Exactly one year of been in operation.