By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
August 14, 2013 (BENTIU) – Police in Unity state have seized 40 unregistered cars, including motor cycles and Tuk Tuks, following a traffic blitz across the region.
- Traffic officer directing cars and motorbikes without insurance and licences into traffic compound 14 August 2013 (ST)
The majority of vehicles across the state are driven by unlicensed drivers and lack plate’s number and insurance certificates required to legalise their status.
Unity state’s director for traffic, John Jour, described the failure to properly register vehicles as a criminal act.
Jour says he ordered traffic officers on Wednesday to detain cars or motorbikes without number plates and valid insurance.
He urged vehicles owners to exercise common sense and indemnify their cars.
“What they are doing; they don’t know the importance of the insurance and they don’t know the importance of the licenses, that is why they are moving without these processes [in order]”, he said.
“If I got that vehicle having no plate number, having no insurance, I will put it here until the owner comes and completes all procedures”, he added.
Jour acknowledged that the majority of vehicle owners in the town were driving without number plates.
He stressed that it is imperative that vehicle owners are licensed and their cars registered in order to improve safety on the roads.
Junub Majok Gatwich, whose car insurance expired five months ago, said a traffic officer had stopped him for failing to reinsure his vehicle.
“It [is] true that the traffic [officers] act correctly. Sometime the car may cause [an] accident and it is the most case it should carry both insurance and license, but the situation in Bentiu become worse, there is no money and the only thing to do is to garage the car until I find money to process [the insurance] document”, said Gatwich.
Jacob Tirit a pharmacist working in the state ministry of health, also says he feels no ill towards traffic officers, who impounded his motorbike after he was found to be driving unlicensed, adding that they were acting in the interests of road safety according to their duties.
“There is no bad feeling because actually it is the law of [the] government of South Sudan traffic polices … If they said this motorbike must be confiscated up to the process of licensing of insurance it is their duty”, said Tirit.
Tuk Tuk driver Hamed Thabi Osman, who has been working for four years in Bentiu town, says he accepts the request from local area authorities, but complained the lack of accessible roads had paralysed their business in the town.
Motorbikes and cars or vehicles imported illegally into South Sudan from neighbouring Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo are then sold on without the necessary documentation required for