Lagos outlaws eating, phone calls while driving

Lagos outlaws eating, phone calls while driving


•As Fashola signs Road Traffic Bill into law

By Ekene Okoro, Snr. Reporter, Lagos

It is now an offence punishable with fine or jail term to eat or make phone calls while driving in Lagos State, courtesy of a new traffic law just enacted by the state government.

Governor Babatunde Fashola on Thursday signed the much orchestrated Lagos Road Traffic Bill recently passed by the state House of Assembly into law, effectively prohibiting motorists from eating or making phone calls while driving.

The law slams a fine of N20,000 on first offender, and a fine of N30,000 or maximum of three-year jail or both subject to the discretion of the presiding magistrate for subsequent offences.

Fashola said though he and the Deputy Governor have immunity from arrest, they would subject themselves to the law “because no one will be above this law.”

The law also restricts commercial motorcycles (okada), carts, wheel barrows and tricycles from plying specific routes, including Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Ikorodu Road, Agege Motor Road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Eko Bridge, 3rd Mainland Bridge, Carter Bridge, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Victoria Island-Lekki-Epe Expressway and all other bridges in the state.

In addition, where permitted, commercial motorcycle operators can only operate between 6.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m.

However, motorcycles of courier companies are exempted, but on the proviso that it must have an engine capacity of 200cc, carry prescribed number plates and identification, be fitted with proper mail cabin and must not carry any passenger.

The law also prohibits trailers from entering into or travelling within Lagos metropolis between 6.00 a.m. and 9.00 p.m.

It, however, exempts fuel tankers and long vehicles carrying passengers.

Defaulting trailers will be impounded and a N50,000 fine or imprisonment of six months slammed on offenders.

Fashola, while signing the bill at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, said the law was in response to the growing challenge of road and traffic management and the need to ensure that those who choose the state as home are not shortchanged by regular traffic offenders.

He said his government was committed to addressing transportation challenges in the state, saying the law which took about 18 months to prepare, would complement government efforts in providing adequate road signs, traffic lights as well as a traffic radio.

Urging motorists to see the law as a means to change the state for the better, he said the success of the law will be defined more by the voluntary compliance of motorists and road users rather than in the number of arrests traffic management officers make on a daily basis.

“There are rules that operate in many cities that compare with this state; we have been to many of these cities and we comply, why is it difficult to comply at home? Our lives will be better if we comply with this law.

“Some of us have some parts of the law that we like and some parts that we don’t like. That sits well with me, maybe not all of us.

“The Deputy Governor and I are the only ones that have immunity from arrest, but we would subject ourselves to the law because no one will be above this law.

“Those who are ready to live with the realities and the complexities of our state are welcome and those who can’t should stay away.

“Those that drive against traffic when we queue are cheating us and we will not allow such to happen again. If we cannot reclaim back our sane society for the coming generation, I think we have failed,” the Governor said.

On the decision to restrict operations of okada riders, Fashola lamented the increase in road accidents, saying 722 cases of accidents on okada were recorded at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, from January to July 2012.

“Out of this number, 568 were male and 154 were female.

“At the accident and emergency centre at Toll Gate, 252 accidents were recorded from January to July out of which 35 persons died. Fifty per cent of the victims were okada riders, 27 per cent were passengers on okada while 23 per cent were passersby.”

The Governor also charged traffic management agencies in the state to ensure that motorists comply with the law, saying all hands must be on deck to ensure that the purpose of the law was achieved.
He also warned public officials to comply with the law, promising that there would be no sacred cows.

“Can we then pretend that we do not know about this and then we do not act? This is our response and we will hope it would bring success. We are all joined at the hip to reclaim our society.

“We expect cooperation and we are recruiting lawyers from the private sector to prosecute cases and the Attorney General of the State will lead the prosecution counsel.”

Earlier, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, said the state government would carry out a comprehensive programme to sensitise the public to ensure that people do not fall victim of the law on the excuse of ignorance.

He said enforcement of the law will not take effect immediately until it is gazetted and then circulated to all stakeholders concerned to ensure they have access to the gazette.

“It is only then that real enforcement will begin. As at now, the police and even LASTMA do not have a copy, even if we make photocopies, we still need to ensure we carry out enough sensitisation.

“The law is there dormant, you do not have to fear it. If you obey the law nobody is going to arrest you or convict you, the issue of going to jail will not arise and what we are looking for in all honesty is voluntary compliance,” Ipaye said.

Daily Independent

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•As Fashola signs Road Traffic Bill into law

By Ekene Okoro, Snr. Reporter, Lagos

It is now an offence punishable with fine or jail term to eat or make phone calls while driving in Lagos State, courtesy of a new traffic law just enacted by the state government.

Governor Babatunde Fashola on Thursday signed the much orchestrated Lagos Road Traffic Bill recently passed by the state House of Assembly into law, effectively prohibiting motorists from eating or making phone calls while driving.

The law slams a fine of N20,000 on first offender, and a fine of N30,000 or maximum of three-year jail or both subject to the discretion of the presiding magistrate for subsequent offences.

Fashola said though he and the Deputy Governor have immunity from arrest, they would subject themselves to the law “because no one will be above this law.”

The law also restricts commercial motorcycles (okada), carts, wheel barrows and tricycles from plying specific routes, including Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Ikorodu Road, Agege Motor Road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Eko Bridge, 3rd Mainland Bridge, Carter Bridge, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Victoria Island-Lekki-Epe Expressway and all other bridges in the state.

In addition, where permitted, commercial motorcycle operators can only operate between 6.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m.

However, motorcycles of courier companies are exempted, but on the proviso that it must have an engine capacity of 200cc, carry prescribed number plates and identification, be fitted with proper mail cabin and must not carry any passenger.

The law also prohibits trailers from entering into or travelling within Lagos metropolis between 6.00 a.m. and 9.00 p.m.

It, however, exempts fuel tankers and long vehicles carrying passengers.

Defaulting trailers will be impounded and a N50,000 fine or imprisonment of six months slammed on offenders.

Fashola, while signing the bill at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, said the law was in response to the growing challenge of road and traffic management and the need to ensure that those who choose the state as home are not shortchanged by regular traffic offenders.

He said his government was committed to addressing transportation challenges in the state, saying the law which took about 18 months to prepare, would complement government efforts in providing adequate road signs, traffic lights as well as a traffic radio.

Urging motorists to see the law as a means to change the state for the better, he said the success of the law will be defined more by the voluntary compliance of motorists and road users rather than in the number of arrests traffic management officers make on a daily basis.

“There are rules that operate in many cities that compare with this state; we have been to many of these cities and we comply, why is it difficult to comply at home? Our lives will be better if we comply with this law.

“Some of us have some parts of the law that we like and some parts that we don’t like. That sits well with me, maybe not all of us.

“The Deputy Governor and I are the only ones that have immunity from arrest, but we would subject ourselves to the law because no one will be above this law.

“Those who are ready to live with the realities and the complexities of our state are welcome and those who can’t should stay away.

“Those that drive against traffic when we queue are cheating us and we will not allow such to happen again. If we cannot reclaim back our sane society for the coming generation, I think we have failed,” the Governor said.

On the decision to restrict operations of okada riders, Fashola lamented the increase in road accidents, saying 722 cases of accidents on okada were recorded at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, from January to July 2012.

“Out of this number, 568 were male and 154 were female.

“At the accident and emergency centre at Toll Gate, 252 accidents were recorded from January to July out of which 35 persons died. Fifty per cent of the victims were okada riders, 27 per cent were passengers on okada while 23 per cent were passersby.”

The Governor also charged traffic management agencies in the state to ensure that motorists comply with the law, saying all hands must be on deck to ensure that the purpose of the law was achieved.
He also warned public officials to comply with the law, promising that there would be no sacred cows.

“Can we then pretend that we do not know about this and then we do not act? This is our response and we will hope it would bring success. We are all joined at the hip to reclaim our society.

“We expect cooperation and we are recruiting lawyers from the private sector to prosecute cases and the Attorney General of the State will lead the prosecution counsel.”

Earlier, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, said the state government would carry out a comprehensive programme to sensitise the public to ensure that people do not fall victim of the law on the excuse of ignorance.

He said enforcement of the law will not take effect immediately until it is gazetted and then circulated to all stakeholders concerned to ensure they have access to the gazette.

“It is only then that real enforcement will begin. As at now, the police and even LASTMA do not have a copy, even if we make photocopies, we still need to ensure we carry out enough sensitisation.

“The law is there dormant, you do not have to fear it. If you obey the law nobody is going to arrest you or convict you, the issue of going to jail will not arise and what we are looking for in all honesty is voluntary compliance,” Ipaye said.

Daily Independent

Follow @shiftnaija

Click here to subscribe to The Paradigm Newsletter

Comments

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