The Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) FCT has stated that they decided to dispose of impounded motorbikes and tricycles in the FCT due to violations of traffic regulations by their operators.
The Spokesman of the service, Mr Kalu Emetu shared this information during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that it had become necessary to take more drastic measures because fines and other lesser punishments were no longer effective.
Emetu said that the ban on the use of motorcycles, popularly known as okada, began in 2006. However, the ban does not apply to all areas of the FCT. Okadas are still allowed to operate in the area councils and suburbs.
“However, despite restrictions, you still see so many of them operating within the restricted areas. All these and others clearly showed flagrant violation of traffic rules and regulations.”
“Now, when they come into the city center and we impound their bikes, some of them will only laugh at you, meaning that they will still repeat the same thing.”
“Most times to our surprise the following day, you will still see the same person whose motorbike or tricycle was impounded the previous day with another one operating in the same place, “he said.
The spokesman said that the operators’ actions had forced the service and the FCT Administration to decide to crush the items when impounded.
He advised Nigerians to be understanding of the government’s decisions, rather than always blaming them.
“Now take for instance, when you impound their bikes and the following day you still see them with another one at the same spot, and you impound them again, they will just be laughing at you.”
“This, I believe goes to say if you like keep impounding their bikes or even their tricycles, they will keep violating the rules restricting them from operating in the city center.”
“You begin to wonder whether it is money they use in buying them. At a time we were arresting them and after some time we gave them back.”
“But after a while, we realized that the same people would still come back to the same spot to operate. So, coming up with an option of a stiffer penalty is the way to go, “he said.
Emetu explained that the service would have obtained a court order to forfeit the motorcycles before crushing them.
“So, it is left for the government to decide what to do with the property.”
“But normally, what we do at DRTS is to recycle them and put them into other purposes that will benefit Nigerians especially, FCT residents, “he said.