RESUSCITATION OF PUNITIVE TRAFFIC LAWS AND SETTING THE RIGHT AGENDA FOR BABAJIDE SANWO-OLU’S GOVERNMENT IN LAGOS, BY CACOL

Shortly after his assumption of office on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, the Babajide Sanwo-olu’s government in Lagos state left no one in doubt of his policy direction when he rolled out about 64 (Sixty-Four) Traffic Laws for ‘restoring sanity back to our roads and making Lagos state to properly assume its megacity status.’ Though the GM/COO of LASTMA in Lagos state, Musa Maroof Olawale, sensing serious public outrage that greeted the law after its pronouncement, was quick to insist that there was nothing new or strange about the law as it was in existence since the time of governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (2007-2015), in Lagos and that the series of Law were just reinforced for effectiveness and clarity; many observers countered that not only were many of those laws outrageous and contradictory of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended), some of them like confiscation of motor vehicles and okada motorcycles are new enactments.

Amongst the about 64 Traffic laws, twenty (20) of the offences carry outright forfeiture or confiscation of owners’ vehicles. Offences which can trigger forfeiture of vehicles by offenders are: –

·         Violation of routes by commercial vehicles, disobeying traffic control, personnel, parking on the yellow line on a public highway or illegal parking, neglect of traffic directions, vehicles crossing double yellow line/centre line. Also, drivers who ignore the offside rule by staying within the yellow junction box will also lose their vehicles, when arrested

·         Other offences that will cause forfeiture of vehicles are: failure to yield to the right of way of a pedestrian at a Zebra crossing, failure of a slow-moving vehicle to keep to the right lane, driving in a direction prohibited by the law and neglect of traffic directions

·         Overloading of a commercial vehicle will attract seizure of the vehicle as well. Also, those who park or drive on the walkway or kerbs will lose their vehicles. Bullion van driving in a direction prohibited by law will also be seized

·         Unlicensed Motorcyclists will also lose their bikes. Government will impound motorcycles below 200 cc and bikes driven by minors

Some of other traffic offences and their punishments are: –

 OFFENCEFINEADDITION
IViolation of routes by Commercial vehicles 1st Offender N20, 000.00 (Twenty Thousand Naira), subsequent offender, N30, 000.00Impound vehicle in addition to and counseling  enlightenment by LASDI
IiNon-display of route and route number on vehicleFirst offender N20, 000.00…subsequent offender- N30, 000.00 
IiiDisobeying Traffic control personnelFirst Offender –N0, 000.00, subsequent offender- N30, 000.00Impound vehicle in addition to LASDI Training
IvParking on Yellow line on a Public Highway/Illegal ParkingFirst Offender –N20, 000.00, subsequent offender- N30, 000.00 
VConveying more than one passenger at any given time, both rider and passenger are liableFirst Offender –N20, 000.00, subsequent offender- N30, 000.00 
ViDriving Motor vehicle/motorcycle without side mirrors, indicators, break lights or rear lightsFirst Offender –N20, 000.00, subsequent offender- N30, 000.00Install/fix before release plus counseling and enlightenment at LASDRI 
ViiWrongful overtaking of other vehicleFirst Offender –N20, 000.00, subsequent offender- N30, 000.00Imprisonment for a term of 3 (three) years or both fine and imprisonment
ViiUnder-aged person riding a motorcycle First Offender –N20, 000.00, subsequent offender- N30, 000.00Dislodge rider and impound vehicle
ViiExceeding prescribed Speed limitN100, 000.00Imprisonment for a term of two (2) years or both fine and imprisonment
ViiiPhysical Assault on a traffic officerN100, 000.00 fine 

Meanwhile, some of campaign promises made by Babajide Sanwo-olu while canvassing for the votes of the electorate include: –

Ø  Completion of Projects Ambode (his predecessor in office) is unable to deliver by the expiration of his tenure

Ø  Provision of institutional support for the growth and development of the technology sector in the state

Ø  Giving Lagos State University (LASU) its first Faculty of Pharmacy

Ø  Run a government based on the aspirations of the people

Ø  To attend to the Needs of the People

Ø  Build on the legacies of past Governors

Ø  Construction and completion of Ketu-Agboyi link bridge

Ø  Upgrading of all schools owned by the state and equipping them with modern facilities

Ø  Increasing the number of Primary Health-Centres and strengthening them so that people can have quality Health care system

Ø  To be a listening governor

Other promises made while he (Sanwo-olu) was speaking to his former classmates of the Executive Master of Business Administration class, University of Lagos, 1998/2000 set are: –

Ø  Focus on Traffic and Transportation, Health and Environment by reactivating the rail system, extend water transport services, expand and improve network of roads and thereby implement more effective public Transport system

Ø  Ensure presence of a minimum of three (3) doctors, three nurses and five community health workers in all 354 (Three Hundred and Fifty-Four Primary Health Centres by 2021 and also provide 10 (Ten) new PHCS  for riverine and other underserved areas

Ø  Optimization of Waste Management by improving drainage and disposal of waste water across the Metropolis

While many of his visions and those of his party, All People’s Congress (APC) for Lagos state are quite laudable, as encapsulated in his programme titled, “Making LAGOS A 21STCENTURY ECONOMY”, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, strongly notes that the task of returning Lagos to a real modern, Megacity is no small assignment and as such, the governor needs not set out incurring the wrath of the same people that brought him to power through a cathedral of punitive traffic laws in a state where the history of affairs between traffic law enforcement agents and the ordinary people is far from palatable. In actual fact, this at one time necessitated that his predecessor suspended the operations of Vehicle Inspection Officials (VIO) for over three years until he left office sometime in May this year without heaven falling. His areas of priority or real Agenda should be as follows: –

v  Immediate Declaration of state of Emergency in the Health sector to arrest the downward slope and nearly calamitous state of Public Health Care system

v  Immediate and urgent review of the Lagos Master plan on Education towards revamping the sector and restoring the values and pride of the state in Education

v  Reviewing and Reinventing Housing Scheme for LAGOSIANS and workers through provisions of affordable Houses throughout the state, reminiscent of Alhaji Lateef Jakande’s Housing scheme for low-income earners in Lagos. This should be done in partnership with Mortgage institutions and traditional rulers in various local government areas and local council development areas in the state

v  Initiate giving unemployment Allowances to all Graduates from state and federal government-owned higher institutions like the Universities, Polytechnics and Monotechnics towards restoring pride to our youths and laying a precedence in social welfare Care

v  Revamp the sports facility by giving facelift to all sporting facilities in the state and building more sporting centers and reviewing incentives for sportsmen/women who, occasionally do the state proud in sporting events

Debo Adeniran

Executive Chairman, CACOL 

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