Kaduna - A total of 169 motorcycle accidents have been recorded in the first quarter of this year in Kaduna State, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Michael Olagunju, has said.
Olagunju said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday that, 43 persons lost their lives while 184 others suffered various degrees of injury.
"These figure can give you a picture of the worrisome nature of the activities of commercial motorcycle operators, because it is not all crashes that we were able to capture,’’ he said.
Olagunju added that in 2012, the commission recorded 294 crashes with 37 deaths and 128 injuries, adding that 133 operators were arrested for various traffic offences.
He attributed the crashes to non-adherence to traffic rules and drug abuse.
"It was due to total disregard for the law by most operators, who contravene the rules and regulations on road usage, while some of them drive under the influence of drugs.
"The commission is not canvassing for a ban of Okada, but we want the operators to work according to the law of the land; use reflective jackets, registrations of number plates and full documentation,’’ he said.
Olagunju said the challenges faced by the FRSC in the state were due to the influx of motorcyclists into Kaduna.
"In Lagos there is restriction on the movement of motorcyclists. It happened in Akwa Ibom and Cross River, and recently in Kano, and some other states around us even in the FCT,’’ he said.
According to him, the state had witnessed an influx of motorcyclists in the last six months, adding that majority of them did not know the roads and expect their passengers to guide them.
He acknowledged the contributions of the commercial motorcyclists to the economy, saying: "they provide flexible means of transportation and employment’’.
The commander, however, regretted that many of them were lawless, as they often jump traffic light at random, overload, refuse to use safety helmets and operate without mirror and road-worthiness certificates.
Olagunju called on the state government to regulate the activities of the commercial motorcyclists, and recommended that they be restricted to operate only in semi-urban areas.