General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Mr. Olawale Musa, tells FEMI MAKINDE that visitors can not be managed effectively without enforcing the regulation
There are claims that the brand new traffic law becomes made to generate revenue instead of to ease traffic on Lagos roads. Is this actual?
The law isn’t always new. It is the equal regulation that we had been operating for decades. We determined to re-publicize it because mischief-makers have been spreading faux facts approximately it. We don’t need motorists to be having issues with our men on the street; so, we had to allow them to know greater about the law. Some are pronouncing the governor (Babajide Sanwo-Olu) has said LASTMA can’t make arrests. Mischief makers are doing so many funny matters on social media and we need to permit the public to realize the truth. It is the equal law that we were the use of; there’s not anything new about it.
About the allegation of the use of the law to generate revenue, that isn’t always genuine. What they’re circulating are the penalties attached to the regulation. The law involves the whole thing about the operations of LASTMA and how officers need to conduct themselves. That penalty aspect is only a time table; it is not the law. Let me make it clean, no person can control traffic without imposing the law. Anywhere within the international, if you say you’re controlling site visitors without enforcement, you are joking. The best distinction between the ones in superior international locations and right here is they make use of technology there and we put human beings. They use cameras and we positioned humans because the human beings see people; this is why they’re complaining. There need to be enforcement anywhere you manipulate traffic inside the international; otherwise, human beings will now not take them seriously. I don’t see any motive why people ought to be afraid. I bypass through the same street others pass. My wife and my family members skip via the equal avenue; they must additionally obey the law. The law applies to all of us, regardless of their popularity. This regulation has been there because the time of (former Governor Babatunde) Fashola.
Are the fines new?
Those fines aren’t new. Social media is now greater energetic than the manner it changed into earlier than and plenty of humans are active on it. That is why the fines are being circulated and lots of extra-human beings get to see them. People now see facts extra than earlier than.
Is the component of forfeiture of vehicles now not new as well?
It is not new. It became even worse than this in the course of Fashola’s regime because if you have been arrested then, you will be made to go for psychiatric assessment. If we ask people to go for a psychiatric assessment now, they would say it is new but it has continually been there. I am sure many humans will bear in mind this. It is the equal regulation we’re the use of however we’re simply enlightening the human beings in order that they may understand the fines. This is supposed to deter them from violating the law.
How do you react to the claims that the law is merciless and oppressive?
The law isn’t always cruel. It is a false impression. You are loose to move and do the evaluation of our regulation with visitors law and fines and compare them with what they have got everywhere inside the international and spot if they are cruel. I didn’t make the regulation. I am positive you understand that. But if the fines are too meager, many people will not appreciate it. If the fines are there like that, it’ll make human beings to admire the law. Nobody needs to blame LASTMA for the law. LASTMA did now not make any regulation but we are just enforcing it.
What is LASTMA’s commercial enterprise with drivers no longer fastening seat belt? Why don’t you leave this to the Federal Road Safety Corps to implement?
It is our responsibility to put in force it consistent with the law. LASTMA does not just control traffic; we implement site visitors law. There are visitors legal guidelines which you ought to obey when you are using on the road. It is to your protection. If our activity is just to govern traffic, we are able to no longer need to be removing impediments on the street then. If it’s miles controlling traffic, we are able to now not be involved in casting off broken down motors. There are so many things connected to traffic control and control. Once you are using on the street, you must wear your seat belt. If that does not issue us, then some will ask: what has LASTMA were given to do with making sure that motorists do no longer beat site visitors lighting? Or what is the business of LASTMA whilst somebody parks a car on the curb or walkway?
The roads are very horrific now, riddled with potholes. Many trusts that the roads ought to have been constant first before imposing the law. Do you accept as true with this?
There are two ways to examine it. For example, if there’s a flash flood and somebody now decides to pressure in opposition to visitors and block the final lane, should we not put into effect the law? We realize that the roads are bad. I’m in contact with the GM of Public Works; they are doing something approximately it. But the rains are worrying about them now. We tell them wherein we’ve troubles and they’re working on it. But it is lots of labor. The governor has given a directive that every one traffic lights need to work and they’re running on it. They are running on many things.
Traffic officials are accused of luring motorists to drive towards site visitors and later arrest them. Are you privy to this?
It is not feasible. Let me inform you what typically occurs in particular at the BRT lanes. If there is any breakdown (of automobiles) on the primary road, we commonly open the BRT lanes to all motors to free the site visitors. But a few drivers will refuse to go again to the principle road at the exit wherein they are anticipated to go out. They are supposed to use the BRT lanes to keep away from staying in gridlock for hours however they should exit later. Some of them will keep using at the lane and if they are arrested, they’ll not tell the complete truth. Some drivers will drive at the BRT lane just because it was opened to them the day before today to clean site visitors. Shouldn’t they be arrested? We have told motorists not to offer money to our officers. If you insist which you are on your proper, we’ve got said no LASTMA officials have to trouble price ticket to you. You will go to courtroom and the Justice of the Peace will decide whether or not you’re responsible or not. The magistrate can upload to the excellent or say you are not guilty.