Residents of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have bemoaned the poor attitudes of taxi drivers towards established road regulations, thereby causing a lot of mishaps on major roads in the metropolis.
They say that despite the sensitization by Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), in ensuring that taxi drivers in FCT abide by the roads regulations, the metropolis is still facing the challenges of high speed, beating traffic and wrong parking, cumulating in the increasing rates of road accidents.
Some residents, who spoke with Peoples Daily on the attitudes of cab and taxi drivers within the capital city, called on the relevant authourities to come up with stiff measures to checkmate the menace.
A resident in Asokoro District, who simply identified himself as Owen who residing, decried that taxi drivers have been causing a lot of confession and congestion on the roads, thereby adding to woes of the motoring public in the FCT.
He maintained that most of taxi drivers in the city do not respect simple road rules especially when they spot passengers waiting at the bus stops.
“They ( cab operators) don’t obey simple rules- as they can be driving ahead of you, but one second they just turn because they have seen a passenger , and if one is not careful you hit them .
“If a passenger is standing by the roadside waiting board a cab, they will not look; they won’t even look at the person coming at back before they stroke the road. They always want to come in and start moving,” he expressed.
Another concerned resident, Ibrahim Ali, pointed out that ordinarily the taxi drivers are supposed to drop or pick their passengers at the designated bust stops but they prefer doing so them randomly, because they refused to be orderly.
He suggested that the transport leaders need to reorganize their members, and the government has to insist that cab and taxi drivers as well as their association to adhere to the rules.
“I think there is urgent need to re-orientate them ( cab operators) in order for them to conform to the rules in every part of the city, because anybody that is moving somewhere understands how the system works in some of the world class cities that Abuja is aspiring to be at par with,” he added.
For one Ibrahim Musa, residing at Area 8, Garki District, it is not totally their fault, but that of the traffic enforcement agencies, the police and the VIO.
“The VIO officials are only concern about stopping motorist by cause traffic gridlock in the name of checking vehicles particulars ,which I feel should not be their primary responsibility , but even they- the road safety officers behave same, the police stand around intersections to watch on while people just beat the traffic light.
“The way people drive within junctions also cause traffic jam, the taxi drivers are rough people, when you stop them, they begin to argue with traffic enforcement agencies.
“I really think there should be an outstanding policy of reviewing the activities of taxi drivers within the city; it was done to bus drivers, now the bad behaviours now exist among the taxi drivers.
“I think the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DTRS) has to step up to checkmate their excesses, but unfortunately for they are not doing anything.
“The FCT DTRS has a lot of personnel, and recently vehicles were donated to them. Their duty is to make sure people drive safe,” he said.
Similarly, another resident, Mimi Jones, who described the attitudes of cab drivers in the FCT as quit awful, said that it brings about a sense of misery on other motorists.
According to her, it has been generally observed by other motorists that cab/taxi drivers have horrifying driving attitudes which happen to arouse a sense of danger in the minds of other road users and pedestrians.
She noted that taxi operators in the city are reckless and do not adopt simple precautionary defensive driving measure.
“Defensive driving is all about being very care full while driving, but from observation we find out that their driving is more offensive.
“They are usually impatient and go to the extent of breaking traffic rules and regulations.
“This defensive driving entails responsibility, care, consideration and having courtesy for other road users. It has to do with safety first above all.
“Government should do something about the bad behaviours of drivers within the city; VIO should ensure to sanction those that don’t follow the rules on the roads,” she added.
Similarly, Gideon Pam, a resident in Wuse, who said the drivers in the FCT metropolis drive without having the consciousness or cognizance of other road users, as they can stop wrongly to a pick up a passenger without giving out signaling other vehicles coming behind.
“Some of the drivers can be so rude to their passengers, while trying to give them advise on the wrong driving attitude; they tend to show that they know all the road rules more than all others.
“Abuja taxi drivers do not respect traffic lights; the lights are there to control the traffic but they prefer beating the light, which those traffic commands are not suppose to be ignored.
“The FRSC and VIO officials are working hard to ensure things work out well on our roads but these drivers frustrate their efforts, they should not relent but intensify their activities for us to have a city free of accident.
Not left out, a civil servant, Miss Grace Ayo, who resides around Berger- Wuse axis, noted that, generally taxi/cab drivers within the Nation’s Capital have a penchant of exhibiting lawless attitude while on wheels.
She decried that some of the traffic warders at various junctions, on their part lack discipline on duty post, some of the drivers have good rapport with the traffic warders, which makes it easy that even when they violate the road rules they do not go after them.
She noted that they can stop suddenly even on highways and express carriage ways, just to pick passengers, which is really dangerous.
“Imagine a driver stopping in the middle of the road, when he understands that there is much traffic gridlock ahead of him, the drivers just turned even when he is supposed to turn at nearby point.
“Drivers are always in a hurry to pick up passengers, while passengers are still inside the taxi; you will observe them calling and asking passengers to get down while the car is still parked wrongly.
“I think government agencies responsible for handling such issues should still organise public workshop for drivers within the metropolis,” she added.
Similarly, one Zina Lemu, said some of these drivers need mental and psychology check up, because they do not adhere to the rules within the city, they just drive recklessly and one cannot correct them.
“Drivers also follow road path which are meant for residents to walk through, but they also abuse those paths for their selfish reasons by driving on these paths.
“Government need to address the issues of urgently, because December is around the corner, we experiencing road accidents within the city,” Lemu stressed.