The Nigerian Psychological Association (NPA) says the decision of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to test the psychological and emotional state of traffic offenders was in order.
The association’s National President-elect, Prof. Michael Ezenwa, made the endorsement when he led some members of the body to the Anambra Sector Command of FRSC in Awka.
Ezenwa said the move was expedient as the psychological state of an individual was a major determinant of how he or she behaves while on the road.
“Taking into account the fact that driving is a functional behaviour; it is something that requires continuous attention, therefore, somebody who is not psychologically stable is not unlikely to drive and maintain driving regulations.
“The psychological imbalance is likely to distort the capacity of the individual to pay attention to road safety rules and to the general rules governing driving.
“You may recall that human factors as published by your organisation are the most striking that contribute to road traffic accident in the country,’’ he said.
The president-elect urged the FRSC to ensure that those who had the requisite knowledge were engaged in the execution of the policy.
He said the association was willing to partner with the organisation and pledged the readiness of his association to render necessary assistance toward ensuring its success.
He advocated for the exercise be conducted at the point of issuance of driving licence and periodically, every two years.
“People who are psychologically unstable are not candidates for the roads because they constitute danger not only to themselves but to other road users.
“We therefore, urge you that this policy is expected to be properly executed.
“To make sure the right professionals who have the training to perform psychological tests are used to achieve the set objectives.
“The Nigerian Psychological Association I am very sure will be willing to assist the road safety in any area of need,’’ he said.
In his remark, Dr Harry Obi-Nwosu, Head of Psychology Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, said the FRSC should work with hospitals that have effective psychological department.
Obi-Nwosu said apart from the hospitals, the Department of Psychology was also willing to work with the FRSC and ensure that only those who could give dependable results were engaged.
On his part, Mr Sunday Ajayi, the FRSC Sector Commander in the state, said the new policy was to further the corps mandate to ensure that Nigerian roads were safe.
Ajayi said the Emotional and Psychological Test was a product of years of research which had been conducted over time.
He lauded the association for their proactive and willing disposition to the policy, adding that the he would transmit their position to the headquarters for moves and how the collaboration could be more robust.