Lagos — The Lagos State Government yesterday dismissed insinuations among members of the public that the new road traffic law endorsed early this month is aimed at punishing road users, saying it was made to correct traffic problems in the state.
The government also justified the enactment of the new traffic law, saying the current population of the state, which currently stands at 10million is by far larger that its population of 300,000 residents in 1949 when the first version of the traffic law was enacted. The state's Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeola Ipaye, made the clarification in Lagos yesterday at a stakeholders' meeting with leaders of the Community Development Associations (CDAs) and Community Development Committees (CDCs).
The meeting was attended by the deputy governor of the state, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefilure, who stood in for the governor, Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, Deputy Police Commissioner, Mr. Tunde Sobulo, Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba and his Rural Development counterpart, Mr. Cornelius Ojelabi among other stakeholders in the transport sector. The attorney-general, who was represented at the meeting by his Senior Special Assistant on Justice Sector Reforms, Mr. Olarenwaju Akinsola, said the new traffic law "is necessary taking cognisance of the emerging challenges that come with the megacity status of Lagos State. A law that was made for about 300,000 in 1949 cannot in any way take care of an astounding population of 20 million. This situation makes the law necessary. We are just calling it a new law, but there are provisions of the 1949 version that are still in the 2012 law. What is now new is the inclusion of motorcycles and tricycles, which were not used for commercial purposes in 1949".
Speaking at the meeting, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, Bisi Yusuf, said the new traffic law represented the views of various interests groups.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said the law was not imposed on the people of Lagos because various groups and interests in transport and other sectors were invited to make inputs. He therefore urged residents of the state to make the law work.
Also at the meeting, Mr. Tunde Sobulo, who represented the state's Commissioner for Police, Mr. Ibrahim Manko, said the command would do its best to enforce the law.