In Kebbi, riding motorcycle without side mirror is the vogue
The use of side mirror guarantees safety for road users as it keeps drivers and operators of motorcycle on alert on the activities of other road users from behind. Howver, commercial motorcyclists otherwise refer as ‘Yan kabu kabu’, who constitute a major part of the road users in most of the major towns in Kebbi State, ply the roads without side mirrors.
This practice is not limited to commercial motorcyclists as few among the privately owned ones are also affected by the plaque.
Apart from exposing all road users to danger, it is also against the road traffic regulation to ride a motorcycle without side mirrors.
It is now a tradition that side mirrors of a motorcycle are removed right at a point of purchase of a new motorcycle under the directive of the buyer.
Commercial motorcyclists, got involved in many avoidable accidents as they become distracted from the side or behind and that in the process of turning their head to know what is happening, they either rammed into the vehicle ahead or the one coming from behind ran into him.
Although, being ignorant of a law is not an excuse, many of the commercial motorcyclists do not know that side mirrors help in guaranteeing their safety on the road.
For the fact that majority of the commercial motorcyclists are from the villages who come to the cities for minimal jobs, they looked at riding motorcycle without mirror as a new trend and as such they follow suit with passion.
Mallam, Ya’u Dan Bala, 27, said he has been operating as commercial motorcyclist for over seven years and that he had changed four motorcycles within the period, adding that of the four motorcycles he had used three were his own.
He said for all the time he had been operating as a commercial motorcyclist, he had never mounted on any of them adding that he usually asked his mechanics not to put them on at a point of assembly.
Dan Bala, said he knew that side mirrors are meant to ensure safety of the rider but insisted that he would not use them because he would be seen as a bush man by his colleagues.
On whether he knows, it is against traffic regulation not to use mirror, Dan Bala said he never knew because nobody had ever stopped to ask him about it.
“If one uses mirrors on his motorcycle, he would be called names. In order to go with what is in fashion you must follow suit irrespective of one safety or the law. Dealers don’t help matters too as they sell the motorcycles without mirrors, though not all of them.”
A motorcycles dealer, who spoke under anonymity after prodding said, they made sure every part of a motorcycle was fixed before selling it.
Kemi Zainab Bola,
a resident, told the Caliphate that she was once involved in an accident when a motorcyclist, who carrying her was confused at the direction a trailer was taking because he did not have a side mirror.
The Public Education Officer of Kebbi State Command of Federal Road Safety Corps, Uko O. Uko, said they would engage motorcyclist in the state as part of their enlightenment campaign on the need to use side mirrors.