Crackdown on motorcycles in Sana'a streets leads to protests
The demonstrations occurred after capital city police caught more than 116 unlicensed motorcycles, 97 of them without license plates, on Saturday in a crackdown organized by the capital city in some Sana'a districts.
The biggest number of motorcycles with infringements were in Al-Safia area—there were 82 unlicensed motorcycles and 69 without license plates. Sana'a’s Old City had the second-highest number of infringements, with 18 unlicensed motorcycles and 12 without plates, according to state-run Saba News Agency.
Colonel Qays Al-Eryani, general manager of the traffic department in Sana'a, said Deputy Secretary of the Capital Amin Jom'an met demonstrators in front of the Capital Secretariat office and discussed the importance of traffic rules.
Al-Aryani said the traffic department ordered to guide motorcyclists about traffic safety.
Shehab Mansoor, 18, a motorcycle driver, said he attended the demonstration because of new procedures for catching motorcycle drivers and arresting them.
“They want Sana'a to be a city without motorcycles; they don’t want us to work? We come here to allow us to live,” he said.
Abdo Al-Amrani, 23, a motorcycle driver, said custom taxes are beyond the financial ability of drivers. He said there are burdens from the price of the bike itself and maintenance costs.
Al-Amrani wondered about the reason behind the exemption of the customs taxes in some governorates such as Lahj and Abyan.
“We demand to exemption from customs taxes or at least to decrease the amount of the taxes,” Al-Amrani said.
Doctor Amin Khairan, director assistant of security for neighborhoods affairs, said most motorcycles enter Yemen without paying customs fees because they enter as spare parts and then set these parts into a motorcycle.
“We asked to customize all the motorcycles or to give us permission to add numbers to the motors,” he said.
Abdulrahman Saleh Saif, a traffic police delegate in Sana’a, said the current motorcycle situation in Sana'a is unorganized. He said there are a large number of unlicensed motorists in the capital, which weakens traffic control.
He said traffic delegates suffer from the disorderly attitudes of motorcyclists, as they drive on the pavement and cross going the wrong direction on streets, which threatens people lives.
“Traffic rules are for cars as well as motorcycles, and all are under these rules,” Said said.