LASTMA goes tough on drivers plying one way, restricted routes
*Seeks willful compliance with traffic, environmental laws
By Adeyemi Robinson-Adefioye, Lagos
Lagos State Government on Friday carried out comprehensive enforcement of Traffic and Environmental Laws across the State, just as it urged motorists and residents to adopt willful compliance with the relevant laws to ensure free flow of traffic, civility and public order.
The enforcement, which was jointly carried out by men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, witnessed the arrest of hundreds of commercial motorcyclists plying one way and restricted routes in Agege, Iju Road, Abule-Egba and Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, among others.
Traders displaying their wares on walkway thereby forcing pedestrians to walk on the road were also arrested, with their goods removed and impounded.
Speaking to newsmen during the exercise, General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Olawale Musa said in as much as government was willing to enforce the law with civility, it would however not allow anyone to break the law and cause trouble for other residents and commuters.
Musa, who recently assumed office as the GM of LASTMA, said men of the Authority have been adequately directed to perform their duties with utmost civility and discipline, but urged members of the public to reciprocate by complying with the relevant traffic laws.
He said the enforcement was largely aimed at sending a strong signal to the public that men of LASTMA were still very much on ground to ensure free flow of traffic in every part of the State and deal appropriately with any hitches.
“This enforcement today is just to send a strong signal that we are on ground and that anybody that breaks the rules or does not conform with the law, we will do the needful but we hope we don’t go to the extent of impounding vehicles, arresting people and trying people. That is why we are appealing to members of the public to always comply with the law. It is not in
our desire to make people suffer and once you comply, we don’t have any reason to do that.
“In my few days in office as the new LASTMA GM, I have noticed that the problem we have are the issues of indiscipline and impatience. Most of our people are impatient and don’t like to obey traffic rules and they like to stop wherever they like especially the commercial bus drivers.
“But as much as possible, we implore them to always cooperate with our men because it is when we all do that that we can have free flow of traffic. Sometimes, we might have few hitches but our men will always be on ground to control the traffic,” Musa said.
Speaking on his vision for the Authority, the GM said it is a new dawn for traffic management in the State, adding that government, through the agency, would go all out to ensure that commuters have seamless experience travelling across the State.
“Let me assure the public that we are going to have a new, very responsible and very disciplined LASTMA. As much as possible, we are going to ensure civility. We will not tolerate LASTMA officials that are rude; we will not tolerate LASTMA officials that act with imprudence and we also would not tolerate people that will not obey the rules, but as much as possible, our officers will maintain discipline and civility. That I can assure the public.
“Our residents should ensure they obey traffic rules. We do not want to arrest anybody; we don’t take joy in impounding any vehicle but if we are forced to, we might have to. We have told our men not to tow vehicles indiscriminately. If vehicles develop fault on the road, as much as possible, we will help you to remove the vehicle from the road but when you disobey traffic rules, we will do the needful so that traffic will flow,” Musa said.