From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
In a bid to ease vehicular traffic during the festive period, the Delta State Traffic Management Authority (DESTMA) has launched the Emergency Road Assistance Programme (ERAP) to clear the highway of broken down vehicles.
Under the programme, operatives of the traffic agency expected to be on the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha highway especially close to the River Niger Bridge to remove broken down vehicles at no cost to the owners of such vehicles.
Every Christmas season, approach to the bridge head from Asaba axis, usually experienced gridlock with commuters spending several hours in traffic.
Announcing the launch of ERAP, Director General of DESTMA, Azubuike Idah, said operatives of the agency would be working for 18 hours everyday during the period to make sure commuters have comfortable ride to their homes for the holiday.
“We will help you toll your vehicle if it breaks down on the road without any charge. If your tyre is punctured, we will help change the tyre without a fee,” he assured.
Idah however urged to the Federal Government to keep to it’s word of opening the second Niger Bridge this December, noting that it would help significantly to ease the pressure on the one bridge.
He lamented the rate at which road signs were flagrantly being violated by motorists across major cities in the state, explaining that the agency would commence enforcement of road signs by the end of November.
Idah accused operators of trucks used in selling sachet water of outrightly removing ‘No Parking’ signs along major roads in Asaba in their bid to station the trucks for patronage.
“We installed those signs but pure water trucks removed the signs because they usually park along the road where they sell to customers.
“And in doing so, not only the trucks that will be causing obstruction, those who park their vehicles to buy will also be impeding free flow of traffic,” he said.
Idah urged motorists to observe other road signs such as ‘pedestrian crossing,’ ‘school zone’ as well the ‘stop, children crossing’ signs by slowing down in such areas.
“If you disrespect these signs and the person trying to cross the road, we will ticket you. If you disrespect the stop sign, we will ticket you.
“In areas with the ‘school zone’ sign, motorists need to slow down. The penalty for not slowing down is hefty,” he added.