10 September 2012

Nigeria: Traffic Law - Lagos Ready for Enforcement

LAGBUS buses

As the Lagos State Government steps up effort to commence the enforcement of the new road traffic law, almost all transport operators across state have come to terms with the new law. But, Governor Babatunde Fashola advocates voluntary compliance with the new regime.

He never thought he could run out of luck, rather Mr. Samson Adebiyi simply thought another business opportunity had come his way, from which he could make some money. He was apparently excited when Mr. Semiu Ambali, an unsuspecting IT consumer, approached him again to buy another handset, barely twenty-four hours after he bought the first one.

Only last Monday, the Lagos State Government more strikingly expressed readiness to commence enforcement of its newly enacted road traffic law amid increasing public support. Early this week too, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) threw its weight behind the new regime, which its national executives led by Mr. Umaru Yasin visited Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) at the Lagos House, Ikeja.

Also penultimate week, all Community Development Associations (CDAs) and Community Development Committees (CDCs) pledged their support to ensure effective enforcement of the new regime, which their leaders said, would help stem the spate of motorcycle-related robbery in the state. Among others, residents' associations too, though apprehensive about its enforcement, said a megacity without such a traffic law "depicts a bad order".

Even before they approached an Ikeja High Court on Monday, Association of Okada Operators in the state unflinchingly gave their backing to the state government, thereby pledging to duly observe the new regime, to which Fashola assented August 2.

But their song changed the morning after the okada riders pledged their support at a stakeholders' meeting, which was specifically organised to sensitise and enlighten them.

Beyond various meetings it had organised with critical stakeholders across the 20 local government areas (LGAs) and 37 local council development areas (LCDAs), the state government has been using a multi-pronged approach first to create more awareness about the law and second to inculcate a new culture of road usage in all motorists and road users.

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