There was drama along the Port Harcourt-Aba Road when a taxi driver refused to allow officials of the Rivers State Traffic Management Authority popular known as TIMARIV, to impound his vehicle.
The taxi driver (name withheld) decided to stay under his vehicle, a Mitsubishi saloon car, when it became apparent that the TIMARIV officials would not heed to his plea for leniency.
Not minding that he was on a highway, the taxi driver remained under the vehicle and told the traffic officials and one armed policeman at the scene that he would prefer to be crushed with his car than allow it to be impounded.
The driver was said to have been tracked down by the traffic officials before he was caught in traffic around the Waterlines area of Port Harcourt-Aba Road.
The driver was oblivious of the fact that TIMARIV officials were on his trail, had driven on a wrong lane.
The state traffic management authority had made it compulsory for errant drivers to part with between N20,000 and N100,000 before they can retrieve their seized vehicles.
The action of the driver attracted a large crowd that came to the scene to appeal to him to come out.
“I will not come out. It is better for me to be crushed with my car than allow TIMARIV to seize it while I am still alive. I have children at home and when the car is seized, I would have no money to get it back,” the driver said repeatedly.
Unmoved by the antics of the driver, the traffic officials, who tried in vain to pull him out from under the car, decided to wait patiently.
The driver stayed under the vehicle for over 40 minutes before the TIMARIV officials decided to forgive him.
The driver later came out when the officials assured him that his vehicle would not be impounded.
When contacted, the Chief Traffic Controller of TIMARIV, Mr. Confidence Eke, said the management of the agency had told its officials not to inflict injury on any motorists.
Eke, who expressed satisfaction over the manner the matter was handled, explained that it was better to allow the driver go than to inflict injury on him.
“It was an extreme action for the driver to run under his vehicle in order to stop it from being impounded. We have told our officials not to force motorists.
“We have also told them not to inflict injury on them. They actually did well to have allowed the driver to go in order to avoid anything untoward,” Eke said.