The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has warned commercial motorists in FCT, particularly those in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory to stop overloading their vehicles for safety reasons.
FRSC Gwagwalada Unit Commander, Mr. Sunday Attah, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday warned against the act.
Attah said that commercial motorists plying Airport road down to Gwagwalada, Zuba, Kwali and Abaji were the worst culprits of overloading their vehicles with passengers and goods, saying this is very dangerous.
He also spoke against carrying two passengers in the front seat of a vehicle meant to take one person, warning that the commission will continue to apprehend and punish drivers breaking traffic rules.
According to Attah, some drivers are also driving dangerously, thus risking lives and property.
The FRSC unit commander, however, said erring drivers were being arrested and fined various sums, like N76, 000, for different traffic offences.
“Once we have your vehicle number plate, we pick you no matter how long it takes. Then, we will remind you of your offence.
“The truth is that you have to be alive to do the job. Some of the drivers will want to run on us whenever we stop them, but we usually apprehend them,’’ he said.
He went further to advise passengers to avoid entering overloaded vehicles.
Mr. Obiora Emeka, a commercial driver in the FCT and some of his colleagues overload their vehicles in order to make ends meet.
NAN spoke with some drivers and passengers present to get their views on overloading vehicles.
Emeka added that the defaulting drivers believe that they would not be able to fend for their families and repair their cars if it spoils if they don’t overload.
Mr. Abdullahi Abubakar, another taxi driver, however said he did not see the issue of overloading as a problem if drivers carry more than required passengers in their vehicles.
“We have been carrying two passengers at the front passenger’s seat of a Golf car and nothing has happened. I don’t see anything wrong with that,” he said.
Mr Okolo Emmanuel, a commuter, regretted that passengers most of the times were contributors to the problem.
He said: “If all commuters will agree not to sit two or more at the passenger’s front seat of smaller vehicles, the drivers will be forced to carry one.”
Ms. Esther Abel, another commuter, said, “when one is in a hurry, we patronize such drivers, knowing that it is not the right thing to do”. NAN reports