The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has allayed the fear of motorists over the enforcement of traffic law in the state.
The agency assured members of the public, especially motorists not to be apprehensive over the fines being circulated on social media platforms as it was not a punitive measure but part of the law and measures that have been put in place to restore sanity to roads in the state.
A statement signed by the General Manager of LASTMA, Olawale Musa, said the 2018 traffic law was an improvement of 2012 law with objectives of addressing void and inadequacies noticed with a view to improving traffic control and management, safeguarding motorists’ rights, improving road safety, eliminate impunity and disorderliness on roads, and end traffic officers’ overzealousness and arbitrariness on duty.
The statement further revealed that the process of implementing traffic law in the state has been democratized in order to ensure that cases of traffic infractions are proven, determined and punished accordingly by law court. This would allow for fair hearing and transparency in the implementation of the law. The process has also put burden of proof on traffic officials and are, therefore, to be more professional, civil and polite to motorists and members of the public, but firm against violators of the law so as to check cases of impunity on the road.
Musa stated further that the existing law was not new to the public, but only being more emphasized. He frowned at a situation where motorists embark on flagrant disobedience of traffic law, driving against oncoming vehicles, parking of vehicles and picking of passengers at undesignated places.
On the issue of forfeiture of vehicles for driving against the flow of traffic, Musa said that this should not be misconstrued with the One-Way offense as LASTMA has not apprehended any vehicle for one-way this year. He noted that while the Agency had adopted the approach of being civil and humane in its dealings with the public, this was being played upon with observable civil disobedience on the roads prompting the need for sterner measures. Regardless of any circumstances, officials of LASTMA will remain civil but firm on the side of the law in the discharge of their duties.
Musa said the surest route to eliminating road disorderliness, chaos and impunity on our roads was through obedience of law. He advised law abiding citizens to drive on our roads without fear of harassment by LASTMA officials.
He, however, enjoined members of the public to report cases of harassment and extortion to the agency for investigation and appropriate action, cooperate with traffic officials and obey traffic law.