Defiant drivers ignore police order
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Barely 24 hours after the ultimatum given by Police Commissioner Jammeh Conta, head of the Mobile Traffic Unit of The Gambia Police Force, recalcitrant drivers plying the route to Bakau still refuse to desist from using the Sabena Junction as a stopping point.
Far from complying with the new dispensation, a good number of drivers still continue to maintain their old system to the detriment of the increasingly worried commuters. Daily Observer dispatched its reporters to some strategic areas like the Cooperative car park in Westfield; the environs of the Gamtel-LK Junction and the Africell junction. A good number of drivers were seen defying the ultimatum. A chat with some of the drivers revealed that most of them are of the view that the 'police commissioner's ultimatum constitutes a temporary measure.'
Our reporters also noticed that most of the drivers who go against the rule refrain from taking in passengers until they pass the traffic police, stationed near the Kairaba Police Station. This, apparently, is a trick used to avoid being noticed by the traffic police.
Below are the numbers of some drivers spotted dropping passengers at the Sabena-Pipeline junction instead of going to Bakau: BJL 5706 F; BJL 8714 D; BJL 6341 E; BJL 3068 E; BJL 7028 F; BJL 6443 B; BJL 0287 D; KM 2478 B; BJL 4011 F; BJL 6691 F; BJL 2385 D, BJL 6576 F; BJL 4415 E; Bjl 7420-D; Bjl 8534-E; Bjl 1744-F; Bjl 3552-E; Bjl 6402-F and Bjl 9578-E.
Over 10 vehicles impounded. Meanwhile, mobile traffic officers from The Gambia Police Force (GFP) yesterday reportedly arrested a significant number of drivers and impounded their vehicles at the Sabena junction in Fajara. This development came as a result of the ultimatum. At the Sabena Junction, the Daily Observer caught up with some watchful mobile traffic police officers who were busy controlling the traffic.
Among them was Corporal 137 Jallow who revealed that they had arrested more than 10 taxi drivers between the hours of 7:30am and 11.00am, and vowed that they were ready to continue arresting more if they failed to comply with the traffic order. "These drivers are not working for the interest of vehicle owners but for their own interest. Their attitude is tantamount to cheating and dishonesty. We are determined to put an end to it,'' he categorically stated.
He went further to say that any driver arrested will be taken to court. ''The move is part of efforts to eliminate what most people call dishonesty and cheating by taxi drivers,'' he assured. Many people who spoke to the Daily Observer described the efforts of the mobile traffic police officers as reassuring.
Mobile traffic police officer, Sarja Jawo, also amplified comments made by his colleague, condemning in strong terms, the attitude of recalcitrant taxi drivers. Police Commissioner Conta's decision came after concerns were raised by public transport users on a radio traffic talk show, aired every Sunday on the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS radio).
Author: By Sheriff Janko Yunus Saliu, & Sanna Jawara