CMA to complain against Director Traffic police to NPC

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Ceylon Motorcyclists Association (CMA) would lodge a complaint with the National Police Commission (NPC) against SP Indika Hapugoda, Director Traffic Police alleging that the latter had implemented a deliberate campaign to harass motorcyclists, CMA President, Chirantha Amerasinghe told The Island yesterday.

Amerasinghe was of the opinion that Hapugoda considered motorcyclists as ‘trouble makers.’ "We have continuously complained to relevant authorities about the harassment faced by motorcyclists. We also wrote to the President last month and yesterday we got invited for a discussion with Hapugoda and a few others. At the meeting Hapugoda said that those who modify their motorcycles were ‘rowdies’ and insisted that it was against the law to replace a silencer with another one bought off shop," he said.

Amerasinghe added that there were no laws to regulate any vehicle modification. However, the police took advantage of the lack of legal knowledge of Sri Lankans to fleece motorcyclists who had modified their vehicles.

"I called the NPC yesterday and they told me to lodge a complaint and I will do that soon," he said. The NPC said that it couldn’t commence any investigation until a written complaint was received.

The CMA says it received over a thousand complaints from motorcyclists in May, alleging that police removed their modified silencers, Amerasinghe said.

He said the association had opened a hotline to receive complaints on the matter.

"Some modifications like extra lights and leg guards can be considered an enhancement that increases safety of the rider. But for some reason police are removing them as well. That’s why we opened a hotline and in May alone we have received 1,000 complaints."

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