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Road Traffic Committee Lists Challenges

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The newly inaugurated Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Road Traffic Committee, Port Harcourt branch, says the outfit is facing operational challenges as it is yet to formalise issues with the Rivers State Ministry of Transport, the State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMARIV) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

The Chairman of the Committee, Engr. Mark Derefaka, disclosed this during an interview with The Tide correspondent in his office in Port Harcourt last Monday.

Engr. Derefaka said as a body, they want to be part of the system in improving road traffic in the state, by educating motorists on road signs, erecting of furniture, signs of round about, marking of the roads and lanes, adding that most transporters park their cars indiscriminately for lack of knowledge.

According to him, some drivers overtake as sharp bends because they are not aware of the danger involved, stressing that the committee would in future organize workshops for drivers at various motor parks and other areas to enlighten them on road traffic signs and safety on the road.

“We are not to control traffic but to enlighten the drivers and put engineering  signs on the road,” he said, adding that, “Now that the roads are good in the state, we will help government control traffic and preach safety on the road”.

The Chairman of NSE Road Traffic Committee further noted that because of Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s interest in providing standard road network in the state, the engineers deemed it fit to ensure that they encourage the drivers obey road signs to ameliorate road carnage.

We will try to maintain sanity on the road by providing road signs, marks and furniture for effective use by the drivers to avoid being arrested by officials of the various road traffic management agencies in the State.

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Transport

FRSC Warns FCT Motorists Against Overloading

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), has warned commercial motorists in Gwagwalada Area Council of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to stop overloading their vehicles for safety reasons.
The FRSC Gwagwalada Unit Commander, Mr Sunday Attah gave the warning yesterday in an interview with The Tide source.
He noted that commercial motorists plying Airport road down to Gwagwalada, Zuba, Kwali and Abaji were the worst culprits of overloading their vehicles with passengers and goods, saying this is very dangerous.
According to Attah, some drivers are also driving dangerously, thus risking lives and property.
The FRSC unit commander however said erring drivers were being arrested and fined various sums, like N76,000, for different traffic offences.
“Once we have your vehicle number plate, we pick you no matter how long it takes. Then, we will remind you of your offence.
“The truth is that you have to be alive to do the job. Some of the drivers will want to run on us whenever we stop them, but we usually apprehend them,’’ he said.
Attah decried carrying two passengers in the front seat of a vehicle meant to take one person, warning that the commission will continue to apprehend and punish drivers breaking traffic rules.
He also advised commuters to avoid entering overloaded vehicles.
A commercial driver in the FCT, Mr Obiora Emeka some of his colleagues overloaded their vehicles in order to make ends meet.
Emeka added that the defaulting drivers believe that they would not be able to fend for their families and repair their cars if it spoils if they don’t overload.
Another taxi driver, Mr Abdullahi Abubakar however said he did not see the issue of overloading as a problem if drivers carry more than required passengers in their vehicles.
“We have been carrying two passengers at the front passenger’s seat of a Golf car and nothing has happened. I don’t see anything wrong with that,” he said.
A commuter, Mr Okolo Emmanuel regretted that passengers most of the times were contributors to the problem.
He said: “If all commuters will agree not to sit two or more at the passenger’s front seat of smaller vehicles, the drivers will be forced to carry one.”
Another commuter, Ms Esther Abel said “when one is in a hurry, we patronise such drivers, knowing that it is not the right thing to do”.

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Transport

Keke Operators’ Restriction: Buses, Taxi Cabs Hike Fare

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Following the current order restraining tricycle operators popularly known as “Keke Napep” not to operate beyond 7pm in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, commercial bus and taxi drivers have seized the opportunity to hike fares.
The Tide reports that the 7pm restriction for Keke operation time came at the heels of the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike marching order to Traditional rulers mandating them to tackle insecurity in their respective domain.
Based on this mandate, Royal fathers in the respective communities pegged 7pm as closing time for tricycle operators whom they alleged were involved in robbery and snatching of bags in the area.
Though the restriction order did not go well with the tricycle operators, Mr Sunday Amanwo a Keke driver, attested to the fact that most of the drivers were into robbery, saying that there was an incident at night where a keke double crossed a vehicle and robbed the car owner then zoomed off untraced. He also noted an incident where unsuspected victims bags were snatched with keke, lamenting that the criminal activities of some of the operators had portrayed their business in a bad light.
Meanwhile commercial bus and taxi drivers who have taken over the job of keke drivers had hiked the transport fares in some of the routes in the area.
Speaking to our correspondent, a taxi driver, Ibe Jorome who ply along Rumuokoro, Rumuagholu route, said the hike on transport fare from the usual N50.00 a drop to N100.00 was burn out of high demand for their services.
According to him, “the 7pm time was a rush hour and the passengers were more than the available buses and taxis, so the only option was to reap from the business opportunity. But it would be temporary pending when commercial buses and tax would flood the route which would eventually force the price back to N50.00.
A passenger Mr Ijeoma Wordu who spoke to our correspondent, lamented over the untold hardship time restriction had caused them, saying that at the close of market on Saturday, she and two children had to treck over six kilometer to their home due to lack of keke.
She also said that the available commercial buses and taxis were hard reach due to rush by crowd inspite of the hike in price.

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Transport

Accident: FRSC Urges Ogun Govt To Equip Hospitals

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun State, has appealed to the state government to equip its general hospitals in order to save victims of road accidents.
Mr Sunday Oko, the Itori Unit Commander of the FRSC, made the appeal in an interview with the newsmen in Ota, Ogun, on Tuesday.
He noted that some of the general hospitals in the state lacked the required medical equipment that would be needed to treat victims that sustained major injuries from road crashes.
Oko said that the non-availability of necessary materials at the hospitals had resulted in the death of several victims in the past.
”It has been observed that some of the general hospitals only have facilities for treating minor injuries.’’
He said that when the hospitals were equipped with modern equipment, they would be able to render essential services to the public and compete with others outside the state.
The unit commander said that the command was committed to the safety of human lives.
Oko also admonished motorists to be cautious so as to reduce the rate of road accidents to its barest minimum in the state.

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