By Hou Akot Hou
Traffic police in Aweil Town of Northern Bahr El Ghazal have given an ultimatum to bikers whose motorbikes were impounded and detained over breaches of traffic rules to come for the settlement of their cases or risk losing the bikes.
Abuk Maria Akuei, a traffic officer in Aweil town, disclosed on Monday that they have nearly 30 motorbikes under their custody, which were confiscated in 2021 after their owners had contravened traffic laws, including causing serious accidents.
She said it has been long overdue that they have been waiting for owners of the motorcycles to show up at the station to receive the penalties for the breach of laws, but none of them have shown up since then to date.
“I want to explicitly make it clear that the motorcycle owners have been shying away from coming to us. And our intent is to ensure that they come and see the nature of the penalties that the traffic laws say. The fines are not heavy. So, we urge you, the people who have motorbikes with us, to come,” she urged.
Akuei warned that if the bike owners fail to show up for the resolution of their cases and pay fines to get their bikes, the traffic authority might be forced to auction the motorcycles if they never appear as pronounced.
He noted that the traffic authorities have a legal obligation to keep the motorbikes for a long time, but the time limit provided has elapsed, which means they can take other measures.
“If the person does not come, we will sell them or auction them out,” Ms. Akuei echoed.
“The motorbikes include the bicycles as well, but they are willing to give them back to the owners if they turn up very soon,” she continued.
She stated that accidents have been on the rise in the state due to the use of a wild light known as a laser, which blacks out pedestrians’ eyesight while moving at night.
The traffic police declaration on the seized motorbikes that risk auctioning was received with mixed reactions, with some residents urging the government to give ample time for the bike owners to negotiate with the traffic authority.
However, the Aweil town municipal council traffic police did not clearly specify the time frame given for the bike owners to report to the station.