Officers of the Rivers State Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps [FRSC] mounted strategic positions around the Kaduna Junction along the Port Harcourt Expressway. From there they accosted, arrested and took traffic law offenders to the mobile road court tables for trial.
This happened barely four days to Christmas. Motorists charged with various offences including failure to use seat-belt, over loading, wrong plate number, over-speeding and absence of passengers’ manifest put up defenses to evade stipulated penalties.
The Sate Sector Commander, Mr. Osadebamwen said enforcement of traffic regulations is a daily exercise and the special mobile court including the regular patrol team will also be extended to Isiokpo and Ahoada towns. He said the command is collaborating with the Rivers State ministry of Justice to ensure fairness in traffic laws enforcement to eliminate accidents on the roads as the people travel to their respective country sides.
Many believe that the exercise will succeed with the cooperation from members of the motoring public.
Just a day to Christmas, passengers were seen sitting or standing alone and in two’s over their luggage bearing anxiety on their faces. These ones were not sure when a vehicle would be made available for them. But others who were already allocated spaces in available vehicles shared mixed feelings bordering on increase in fare, uncomfortable sitting positions and overloading of the vehicles by the drivers.
Some drivers said the number of travelers this year is low compared to last year insisting that they are willing to serve their cherished customers despite the scarcity of petroleum products. Government had continued to promise to make the product available.
But the promise had not seen a marching command that will make the plumbs at the filling stations run out petrol. The black market had remained the ready solace though the price is huger than the muscle of personal pockets could cope with.
The drivers also noted that the number of police check points on the high ways has increased the huge toll they collect is frustrating. The State Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Rita Inoma- Abbey had insisted that no driver should patronize such police check point and report any officer who insists on any toll [one hundred naira] to the central police station.
Mr. Shola Fashokin is the Vice Chairman, National Road Transport Workers Union of Nigeria, and Eleme Junction Unit who said that the economic hardship experienced by the people is manifest in the low traveling interest adding that they are poised to provide efficient service to the motoring public.
As anxiety heightens, commuters are advised to patronize certified motor parks to avoid being victims to thieves and ritualists who see the rush as golden opportunity to carry out their nefarious activities. The state sector commander of FRSC said commuters must be safety conscious.