Friday 31 August 2012

New Lagos Traffic Law now operational

The much- awaited gazetting of the new Lagos State Road Traffic Law was completed Thursday, meaning its implementation has commenced 29 days after Governor Babatunde Fashola signed the law.

The gazette, printed by the Lagos State Printing Corporation, Ikeja, is titled; ”a law to provide for road traffic administration and make provisions for road traffic and vehicle inspection in Lagos State and other connected purposes.”

To mark the law’s final emergence,  the state Ministry of Rural Development in collaboration with its Transportation counterpart, yesterday, held a special stakeholders’ meeting on the sensitisation of the new road traffic law with the representatives of Community Development Association, CDAs, Community Development Councils, CDCs, traffic officers, supervisory councillors for Agriculture and heads of departments in the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, community leaders, in Ikeja, Lagos.

At the forum, the Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who led other top government officials on the occasion, told the various groups in attendance that the new law has come to stay, urging them to comply with it and ensure its proper implementation in their respective domains.

The Attorney-General, represented by Senior Special Assistant on Justice Sector Reforms, Mr. Olarenwaju Akinsola, also at the meeting, explained: “The new traffic law is necessary taking cognisance of the emerging challenges that come with the mega-city 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 today. This situation makes the law necessary”.

According to him, since 1949, the law has been reviewed seven times. 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.

Akinsola, stated that the new law had been gazetted and that government would commence enforcement of the law anytime from now.

According to him, after the law was signed by the governor, it became binding on all but that the government wanted to sensitise the public through advocacy, which was why the enforcement was delayed.

Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Transportation, Hon. Bisi Yusuf said the new traffic law represented the views, which he said various interests and groups expressed at series of stakeholders organised by the legislative arm before the law was enacted.

Also speaking, the lawmaker, who represented Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said the law was not imposed on the people of Lagos as the decision was arrived at after due consultation with various interest groups as well as transport unions, thereby urging the residents to make the law work.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Tunde Sobulo, who represented the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Manko, gave unflinching support of the Lagos Police command for the enforcement stating that the state command had been making efforts to restore sanity and order of the state road before the law was enacted.

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