The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has arrested over 50 dispatch riders for riding against one-way and beating traffic lights within the nation’s capital.
Director, FCTA Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), Wadata Bodinga, disclosed this while briefing reporters shortly after conducting them round the arrested motorcycles.
Bodinga warned that the conduct and activities of dispatch riders in the city would no longer be acceptable by the FCTA and the motoring public.
He revealed that the directorate had received a lot of complaints about the conduct of some dispatch riders within the city and: “we have seen it too.
“We are here to display the dispatch riders that we arrested for either riding against one-way in the city or beating the traffic lights.
“As you may observe that the number of dispatch riders has increased within the city, probably because of the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging not only Abuja or Nigeria but the whole world.
“Because of their door-to-door services (dispatch riders) which can actually ease people that are staying at home to be able to deliver some of their needs.
“But equally, you can agree with me that there activities and conduct on the road is no longer acceptable. We have received a lot of complaints about their conduct and we have seen it too.
“Just between Tuesday and today, Wednesday, over 50 motorcycles and dispatch riders have been arrested for various offences.
“Because majorly they are the major culprit of this beating of traffic and riding on one-way in the city which is not acceptable because they are trading with their own safety and the safety of other road users,” Bodinga said.
He said that the directorate had directed all the people arrested for following one-way and those beating traffic to go for an emotional evaluation at the recognise hospital in the FCT.
The director said that the enforcement was a continuous one, adding that all the Area Commands are detailed to ensure that traffic rules and regulations must be respected in the city.
He said: “This is Abuja and even where the traffic lights are not working our men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force are there to ensure sanity.
“People should be seen to at least obey the traffic lights in the territory and sadly, that is not the case when it comes to these dispatched riders as you can see the results of the operation”.
Bodinga disclosed that the majority of them did not register with the authority as dispatch riders.
He said: “Because they are dispatch riders, we expect that these motorcycles should be owned by cooperating organisations but from the record we have we realised that most of them are just own by individuals who just decided to put the box and start operation.
“And they will bring results first. After they have done that then we are going to take them to the Mobile Magistrate Court which had already started sitting.
“After the magistrate session is over then they will equally come for two weeks compulsory training with a formal letter from their various companies and organisations.
“Because all the ones that have organisations, we have drafted a formal letter that we are going to send to their various companies and organisations informing them of the conduct of their drivers.
“And there is a need for them to bring even their other drivers for mandatory training to update them on the traffic rules and regulations.”
He, however, said the training was free but they would pay for their various penalties.
Bodinga further said that after the training, the FCTA through the Transportation Secretariat would issue them Abuja Riders Permit but it would be limited to only the areas that motorcycle is allowed to operate.
He added that the riders permit would not allow anybody to ride a motorcycle in areas prohibited by the FCTA.
On his part, the Chairman FCTA Ministerial Taskforce on Traffic Management, Comrade Ikharo Attah said dispatch riders who are allowed to operate in the city are already abusing the privilege.
Attah said: “They break traffic laws very regularly and it has become a source of worry to the FCT Minister, Mr. Bodinga and his men swung into action and clamped down on them.
“We give the directorate pass mark for clamping down on these violators and some vehicles here are also involved.
“They will be going through tests to ascertain if they are normal because if something is not wrong with them they must be wrong with something.”
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