By Stanley Onyekwere
In a bid to ensure orderliness in the transport sector of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Transport Secretariat of the FCT Administration, has intensified clamp down on some motorists picking and dropping passengers at ‘illegal’ bus-stops and motor parks in the Territory.
To this end, officials of the Secretariat led by its Mandate Secretary, Engr. Jonathan Invoke, at the weekend raided and impounded over twenty vehicles belonging to some motorists caught in the act, during the exercise around some major corridors in the city.
Peoples Daily reports that the officials accompanied by Policemen and other law enforcement agencies, raided illegal bus stops on speed lanes along Area 1, 3, Wuse market and Eagle Square near the Federal Secretariat, respectively.
Speaking to newsmen, at the scene, the Mandate Secretary, said vehicles are not supposed to either stop, pick or drop passengers, while on the speed lane.
Describing the practice as terrible situation Invoke, explained thatthe rationale behind the exercise, was to curb the menace, which has caused several accidents on FCT roads.
He added although the Secretariat have designated terminals in the city, where vehicles are expected to discharge or pick passengers, but they (motorists) will prefer to stay along the road, which has caused a lot of accidents, and we don’t want this situation to continue.
“The design speed here (on speed lane) is more than that of the service lane, but because of these drivers are so indiscipline, that’s we come out from time to time, working in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies, to contend with this terrible situation.
He added that the Secretariat is working collaboration with the police, to station its officials on some of the notorious spots within the city, to ensure that they are not attacked while trying enforcing the directive.
“In order to address this indiscipline and to work in conformity with the provisions of the Abuja master plan, we restricted the activities of the mini buses to feeder routes in the Territory.
On the penalties for the impounded vehicles, he said, the Secretariat through its enforcement arm, Road Traffic Secretariat (RTS) (otherwise known as Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), would refer the owners to the mobile, for the Magistrate to impose appropriate fine on them.
“This is a routine activity, and there is nothing like we will stay here (illegal parks) for hours, and that is the end, but RTS personnel are supposed to remain here from morning to night daily. This is because, this is a continuous situation, and we have to continuously address it.
“We have given them (RTS) all the support necessary; they have to remain there; they have to tackle the problem; they have to impound these vehicles; and we have to take them to the mobile court; that is our daily assignment.
“On a general scale, we are amending the FCT Road Transport regulation; the last one was done in 2005, but we are going to reinforcesome sections in the by-law, to impose stiffer penalties and make it very comprehensive,” the Secretary said.