By the time Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, finally signs into law the new bill that will repeal and re-enact the road traffic law and make provisions for road traffic and vehicle inspection in the state, motorists and commercial motorcyclists, popularly called “Okada” including bullion van drivers, might be in for a very tough time with law enforcement agencies in the state.
The Lagos State House of Assembly, last Thursday, July 12, passed the bill , ready for Fashola’s assent. The bill which emanated from the executive arm, is aimed at regulating vehicular movement and to impose strict sanctions and enforcement on any erring vehicle operator in the state.
1.Riding a motor-cycle against traffic
2. Riding on the kerb, median or road setbacks(Penalty) 1st time offender – N20,000.00 subsequent offender N30,000.00 or the riders motor-cycle will be impounded
3.One way driving - (Penalty) 3year jail term after psychiatric examination
4. Smoking while driving - (Penalty) N20,000.00 fine
5. Failure to give way to traffic on the left at a roundabout - (Penalty) N20,000.00 fine
6. Disobeying traffic control - (Penalty) N20,000.00
7.Violation of route by commercial vehicles - (Penalty) N20,000.00 fine.
8. Riding motor-cycle without crash helmet for rider and passenger - (Penalty) N20,000: 00 or 3years imprisonment or both.
9. Under aged person, under 18yrs old riding a motorcycle - (Penalty) N20,000.00.
10. Driving without valid driver’s license - (Penalty) Vehicle to be impounded.
11. Learner driver without permit - (Penalty) N20,000.00
12. Driving with fake number plate - (Penalty) 1st offender N20,000.00 and 6 month imprisonment or both.
According to Nurudeen Owodunni, a motorist; “for me, I support the decision of the state government. This is because Nigerians especially motorists need laws like this to abide by the traffic law of the state.
Mr. Gbenga Adebayo “For me it is good because it will bring sanity to Lagos roads. A commercial driver, Mr. Samuel Anthony, “the government should not think of introducing such law because those who drive against the traffic do not do it out of proportion but because they are frustrated with the level of traffic in the state caused by bad roads.
Whenever it rains in Lagos, larger percent of roads in the state will not be motor able. Before the rain, some of these roads are in poor condition. And when it rains, the some sections of the road are totally out of use because it is either water-logged or damaged by the flood.
Mr Andrew Oke, an Okada rider, said: “Lagos state is looking for a way to ban us the Okada that is why they are coming out with this stringent law. We are not armed robbers. After all, many of the Okada riders are unemployed graduates.”