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In an effort to enhance the monitoring and regulation of motorcycles, the Addis Ababa Traffic Management Agency is enforcing mandatory digital IDs for all motorcycles operating in the city.

In a press release sent to Shega, the Agency stated that the digital IDs would be mandatory for renewing annual motorcycle permits (Bolo) and are anticipated to improve the safety and security of both the city’s residents and drivers.

With the introduction of digital IDs, traffic inspectors, and police will be able to quickly and easily access essential information about the motorcyclist, such as the status of the GPS, criminal record, the legality of the motorcycle, and license renewal status. This information will be available through a QR code on the driver’s license, which can be scanned using an application installed on the inspector’s or officer’s mobile phone.

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Previously, the City mandated the installation of GPS devices on motorcycles, following public outcry over the increasing incidents of crimes and accidents involving motorcycles. However, the City faced challenges in enforcing the traffic rule. According to the Agency, motorcyclists frequently remove or disable their GPS devices after obtaining a license, making it difficult for authorities to track and monitor their activities. Moreover, since the devices were not linked to a central database, it exacerbated the issues.

The agency expects that the new mandatory digital IDs will significantly improve control and monitoring efforts, with the exact date of the enforcement to be announced soon.

The City is also working on issuing driving digital licenses. These IDs will also serve as transboundary identification cards, containing microchips that store data on driving history.

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Kaleab Girma, an Addis Ababa-based reporter and researcher, with over six years of experience in the field. He currently serves as Shega's Editor-in-Chief and specializes in reporting on small businesses, innovation, technology, and startups in Ethiopia.

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