The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) says it will begin the issuance of special identification numbers to commercial drivers operating in the territory.
The DRTS’Director, Mr Wadata Bodinga, disclosed this during an interview on Sunday in Abuja.
Bodinga said that commercial vehicles without the number would not be allowed to operate within the territory.
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“The side numbers would be boldly written at the bonnet, rear and the doors of vehicles.
“The numbers cannot be faked because we are the ones to issue the numbers with the hacking permit.
“It would also help us determine the number of taxis that are actually operating in the city,” he said.
He said, DRTS popularly known as Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), will also ensure that each vehicle must have undergone ‘Revalidation’ by the agency before a side number is issued to the vehicle owner.
“When you come for that revalidation, you would be tested alongside the vehicle, we will get relevant information on the safety condition of the vehicle itself, “he said.
Bodinga noted that through the numbers, VIO would find out whether the vehicles are road worthy or meets the operational standard guidelines of the directorate.
“And if not, then the vehicle wouldn’t be issued an official side number which would warrant you to operate in the FCT.
“And even if you are coming from another state, as long as you are going to do intra service within the city then you must subject yourself to the new rules.
“If your driver’s licence was not collected in the FCT we must equally give you our FCT drivers permit which you must have before operating in the FCT,” he said.
He stated that the VIO is collaborating with the FCT Authority and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that the new Abuja Transport Management System works.
He said the essence of the identification was to ensure safety and service efficiency of commuters and motorists respectively.
“We are collaborating with NCC to have an SMS code for commuters to determine if a taxi is registered and captured in VIO database.
“As a commuter, you are expected to enter the vehicle side line number with the code to be provided by NCC on your phone as this would help ensure greater efficiency and safety,” he said.
According to him, the scheme is to ascertain that all vehicles that are not roadworthy in the city are removed.
Bodinga attributed some of the reasons for accidents in the territory to disregard for traffic lights, driving on one way, overloading and parking on illegal lanes.
He also frowned at the non-use of pedestrian bridges, hawkers obstructing traffic and dispatch riders driving recklessly across the territory.