The Lagos State Government on Tuesday despite impounding and auctioning cars belonging to traffic offenders in the state, many drivers in the state still flagrantly flout traffic rules and regulations.
It will be recalled that last month, the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences auctioned 44 vehicles forfeited to the Lagos State Government for traffic offences.
Speaking in a chat with Daily Independent, Gbenga Omotosho, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy who reiterated the government’s zero tolerance for the violation of traffic law in the state, noted that it would continue to prosecute traffic offenders until sanity was restored on the roads and law-abiding citizens were allowed to commute without being impeded by some lawless individuals.
According to Omotosho, who said he agreed with some Lagosians that there has not been total compliance with the state government’s directives on traffic routes by commercial motorcyclists (Okada) and tricycles (keke Marwa), the state government in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda will continue to ensure that its laws especially on traffic management in the state are fully complied with.
He said “First and foremost, let me tell you that the government is active and alive to its responsibilities. Tricycles (keke Marwa) and commercial motorcycles (Okada) were not banned all over Lagos. They were only restricted in over 2,000 routes in the state.
“If anybody says that there has been non-compliance with the directives, the person may not be totally wrong. But what I am sure about is that the problem is being effectively tackled by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration” .
“Okada and tricycle riders who drive against traffic and ply routes they were barred from plying are being arrested. Few days ago, some people who drove against traffic have their vehicles impounded and auctioned.
The thing is that so many people have chosen not to be responsible citizens. They delight in flouting the laws and that is why the enforcement has not been far-reaching”.
“Every week, we arrest those who drive against traffic and auction such cars. Despite that, people are still driving against the traffic.
“I have never seen such flagrant disregard for the before. Some will purposely do it and start begging upon arrest. So, if people are losing their cars and yet they have not learnt any lessons, I think it goes down to the root of how all of us have agreed to make our society better or lawless”.
Omotosho who said the state government will continue to sensitise Lagosians on the need for compliance also wondered why many Nigerians who totally comply with traffic rules and regulations while abroad will willfully chose to flout directives here.
He also warned defaulters from attacking officials who tries to arrest them saying anyone caught doing that will face the full wrath of the law.
“If you go abroad and you cannot flout traffic directives, why must you do it here? Another thing is once a LASTMA officials arrest them for traffic violation maybe taking BRT lane or facing oncoming vehicle, they start attacking him. Something you cannot do while abroad”.
“Attack on public officials now seems to be the new normal for many people but we are also dealing with the perpetrators in order to serve as a deterrent to others. Laws are made for the society to function well and if we have all agreed that laws should be put in place, we must agree to face the law”.
“Failure to obey the laws has led to surge in crime rates and traffic jams but I want to assure Lagosians that we are up to the task. Our security agencies are being strengthened. While we have instructed LASTMA officials not to run after offenders, we have also put measures in place to ensure that traffic violators are apprehended and penalized”.