Fashola to endorse new Lagos Traffic Law

OK! i haven’t blogged for a while now, because of the workload i have in the office, but i promise you guys i am going to resume my regular blogging in a few days…. i have gist.
Meanwhile an internal mail circulated the office today and i felt the need to post it on my blog for me lovely readers to read and drop their comments.
read the writeup below:

Today, the 2nd of August 2012; the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola is set to sign Lagos State’ new traffic bill into law. This bill was passed on the 12th of July 2012 by the State House of Assembly, and seeks to criminalize certain traffic offences and sanction offenders as part of the strategy to bring chaotic traffic situations within the metropolis under control.

The proposed law covers areas such as:

  • Riding a motor-cycle against traffic
  • Riding on the kerb, median or road setbacks
  • One-way driving
  • Smoking while driving
  • Failure to give way to traffic on the left at a roundabout
  • Disobeying traffic control
  • Violation of route by commercial vehicles
  • Riding motor-cycle without crash helmet for the rider and passenger
  • Under-aged person(under 18years old) riding a motorcycle
  • Learner driver without permit
  • Driving with fake number plate
  • Driving without valid driver’s license

In my humble opinion, multiple issues would arise from the enactment of this law because countries that have laws such as these have the right tools in place to enable and enforce them.

A few questions/issues immediately come to mind which I will highlight below:

  • How will this be properly implemented without the necessary equipment such as vehicles, sensors, videos and cameras?
  • Is it proper for the law makers to deal with the symptoms rather than the root causes?
  • Is it proper for Lagos State to impose a standard of morality without a level of reciprocity on the State’s part?
  • What will be the alternative routes when the rains destroy certain sections of the road that are already in poor conditions thereby creating a situation where the roads are totally out of use?
  • Is it right for Lagos State with all its bad roads to force people to a higher standard of behavior which it has failed to invest in? This law extricates the state from reasons people drive against the traffic on roads which have caused damages to cars and has been a major cause of loss of lives.
  • Will the enactment of this law not encourage a higher amount of bribe to the LASTMA officers?
  • Some of the penalties were directed at first offenders and second offenders, what is the method of tracking who a first offender is? For penalties involving forfeiture of vehicles, where do these forfeited vehicles go?
  • How can citizens differentiate between fake and original drivers licenses and license plates?
  • Is it proper to fine people an amount that is higher than an average monthly salary?
  • Will an aggressive campaign educating both the citizens and the enforcers not be necessary before the law is effective?
  • How come the act is silent on drinking and driving, and using phones whilst driving; yet it talks about smoking with a fine of NGN20,000 as penalty?

I am not against stronger punitive measures against traffic violations because Lagos does need the sanity, however the State has the INITIAL responsibility to provide a conducive environment for people to obey the laws.

The horse must always be placed before the cart, not the other way round.

I’d like to hear other people’s opinion on this….

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