New Traffic Offences and Penalties in Lagos
Lagos State Management Authority (LASTMA) is a state-owned agency under the Ministry of Transport, established in the year 2000 to transform the state transport system, to ensure free flow of traffic in the state, and also reduce road accidents.
In June 2019, shortly after being sworn in, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who has traffic management and transportation as one of his main agenda, held a meeting with the state’s traffic management body LASTMA, assuring them of the state government’s support and seeking to know how to make Lagos roads safer for residents. That meeting was publicized.
The Lagos State Traffic laws that were passed by the House of Assembly in 2012 were designed to protect law abiding road users, while violators faced consequences of their actions. The sanctions of this traffic law ranged from N5,000 fine to N50,000 fine and the offender could be jailed or lose his or her vehicle.
Right now, there are more severe penalties for traffic offenders in the state because of the new dispensation, the new increment, and the new infusion into the law. Now, there is a new penalty of N200,000 fine for one-way offence. Also, all the violations that before now had no monetary violations now attract fines of from N20,000 to N90,000.
The resource person on the show, Adeniyi Kunnu tried to explain the relationship between FRSC and LASTMA. “FRSC has long been around before we had LASTMA but for a state that has about 5 million vehicles, their duties could really be overwhelming. FRSC manages inter-state vehicles but a LASTMA official is only doing his duty in Lagos State. FRSC operates in all parts of the country.
Can it be said that an average Lagos driver is reckless on the road? Kunnu said that the main issue is the bad condition of Lagos roads. “Before we talk about Lagosians being reckless, let’s ask; what is the provision put in place by the state government to make the resident obey traffic laws? Lagosians are people who want to obey traffic if the right things are put in place. Not that I support traffic offenders or that I support reckless driving.”
But sheriff maintain that even when the roads are good, there are people who still violate traffic laws. Kunnu states that if sale of alcohol is banned on the corners of the road, that could help solve the problem in some ways.
Sanwo-Olu is starting on a wrong footing because he seems to empower traffic management staff to increase the suffering of the people of Lagos.
More and more people in Lagos are dissatisfied with the way the new administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu slammed new traffic laws on the people of the state. Commentators say that for one thing, it was too early to slam such traffic laws on the people because even the team has not gotten the dynamics yet.
Both the in-house guest and callers on the show claimed that Sanwo-Olu is starting on a wrong footing because he seems to empower traffic management staff to increase the suffering of the people of Lagos.
What Causes Traffic in Lagos?
Majority of the traffic jams seen in Lagos is the result of bad roads. Yes, floods, indiscriminate parking, and some other factors could cause traffic. Lagosians spend a whole lot of money repairing their cars because of faults developed from the constant use of bad federal and state roads. There are also cases of vehicles that break down on the highway and they also contribute to traffic obstruction.
However, it is said that increasing the sum of traffic penalties will not help regarding the problem of pot holes.
Summarily, the way forward, according to Kunnu is that Lagos State government should “clearly identify what belongs to it, do a publication about the roads that belong to it and those that belong to the federal government. Government needs to tell the residents how much is needed to fix the roads so that citizens can go with the government in their plans.”
Are Lagosians looking for excuses to break traffic laws?
Host: Sherif Quadri on Morning Crossfire.
Resource Person: Adeniyi Kunnu (Broadcaster and Public Affairs Analyst)
Written and Posted By Jude Chukwuemeka