January 06, 2009

A Story From Nigeria Not Involving Oil, Kidnappings, Or Online Scams

It seems the motorcycle helmet laws in Nigeria are not very popular, so the locals have stumbled across a new method of handling the situation.

Officials in the northern city of Kano said they had stopped several people with "improvised helmets", following this month's introduction of the law.

Road safety officials said calabash-wearers would be prosecuted.

Thousands of motorbikes have been impounded around the country and drivers have staged protests.

Calabashes are dried pumpkin shells more commonly used to carry liquid.

Kano Federal Road Safety Commission commander Yusuf Garba told the BBC they were taking a hard line with people found using the improvised helmets.

"We are impounding their bikes and want to take them to court so they can explain why they think wearing a calabash is good enough for their safety," he said.

Fifty motorbikes had been seized so far in Kano city alone, he added.

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