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Governor of Lagos State sign new traffic law.

On Thursday, August 2, 2012, the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, signed the Lagos Road Traffic Bill into law. He said it was in a bid to

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قديم 08-14-2012, 03:04 PM
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افتراضي Governor of Lagos State sign new traffic law.

On Thursday, August 2, 2012, the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, signed the Lagos Road traffic Bill into law. He said it was in a bid to ensure safety and orderly flow of traffic in the state. He reeled out statistics to illustrate the alarming rise in accident rates resulting in injuries and death. The new law spells out the offences and punishments attached.

For instance, trailers (apart from fuel tankers and long buses) are now prohibited from plying the roads between 6.00 a.m. and 9.00 p.m. Commercial motorcycle operators are not to ply major trunks, such as Ikorodu Road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Apapa-Oshodi Express, Lagos-Badagry and Lekki-Epe Express. Motorists are also forbidden to make phone calls, eat, count money or engage in “other dangerous activities,” while on the wheel.

Pedestrians are forbidden to cross the expressways. They are now to compulsorily use the pedestrian bridges.
Violation of these laws attracts between N30,000 and N50,000 fines or imprisonment up to three years.
Predictably, many commentators have criticised the law as being “draconian.” We share the reservations of those, who feel that sending a traffic offender to three years in prison is way over the roof.


But at the same time, we believe any citizen, who is willing to obey the laws of the land will have nothing to fear. Only those bent on maintaining the “jungle city” reputation of Lagos have cause to worry. But those who, like the State government, believe that the rise of Lagos to a mega city status calls for more discipline and adherence to safety standards will welcome the measures as we do.


The real problem, however, is whether the State government has the capacity to implement this law. Does it have the disciplined personnel to instil discipline on erring members of the public? Fears are being expressed that the track record of law enforcement agencies like the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) and Lagos State traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) have not been enviable. Laws like the ban on commercial motorcycles use of the highways and the wearing of crash helmet failed due to poor implementation.


Secondly, rotten eggs in LASTMA capitalise on these laws to victimise citizens through corrupt entrapment tactics for selfish profit. LASTMA officials permit drivers of their own vehicles to violate the law, and military and police officers harass officials bent on implementing the law. What new safeguards has the State government come up with to ensure that this new law works? Massive public enlightenment must be mounted on all media, and government alone should not be left to do it. The law is in our collective interest. Let us give it a chance.

Governor of Lagos State sign new traffic law.

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