The Federal Capital Territory Directorate of Road Transport Services (DRTS) has called on motorists to avoid speeding and overloading to avoid road accidents during the yuletide.
FCT DRTS Director, Wadata Bodinga, made the call during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.
Bodinga said that the condition of a vehicle, the road being plied and the human factor, could contribute significantly to the rate of accidents on the road.
“Motorists are to make sure they are physically and mentally at alert to drive and journeys should be properly planned; there is no need to rush because due to the yuletide, traffic is expected to increase. So, trips should be estimated and planned.
“By so doing, you will be relaxed enough to take precaution of all the safety measures to be adhered to on the highway.
“Before embarking on a journey, it is advisable to make sure your vehicle is in good condition to be on the road; check your tyres often, service the car, check the break, lighting and electrical parts of the vehicle
“Night journeys should be avoided except extremely important, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world,” he advised.
According to him, the FCT Administration had been proactive in setting out guidelines on how motorists were to go about during the pandemic, stating that with COVID-19 pandemic second wave, those policy guidelines are still in force.
“It is the obligation of vehicle inspection officers in collaboration with other security agencies to enforce those guidelines; a taxi is to carry only four people including the driver.
“Likewise, buses on either inter or intra city travel must also adhere to one seat; two people only and if it is a higher capacity vehicle, then they are to operate on 50 per cent capacity.
“We are trying to implement this policy but we are appealing to commuters to caution drivers and avoid overloading as it is the right of commuters not to be overloaded in a vehicle.
“Passengers have the right to avoid being in a vehicle that does not maintain social distancing, right to caution the driver when he is over speeding and right to, at least, look at the external conditions of vehicles such as the tyres and general condition of the vehicle and if it is not in good order, they should react.
“We are also urging commuters to engage vehicles in recognised motor parks because if commuters can do their part, then the law enforcement agencies will have very little to do.
“We have situation of commuters encouraging overloading after paying so much transport fare and also help to avoid arrest of drivers and this is wrong as drivers need to stop taking advantage of commuters,” he said.
He assured citizens of doubling efforts to make sure the FCT roads, highways and vehicles leaving the city are in good condition to reduce crashes on the road.