by Isi Esene
Traffic offenders in Lagos are in for a difficult time if the proposed law by the Lagos State House of Assembly which seeks to prohibit the act of driving against traffic is signed into law by the governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola.
The bill stipulates that driving against traffic is punishable with a 3-year jail term, while a first offender gets one year term with vehicle forfeited to the government.
Even bullion vans are not exempted from the long arm of the law if they violate these bill when signed into law. Vehicles abandoned on the highway will also be fined N50,000 or three years imprisonment.
The House also passed a bill to repeal and re-enact the road traffic law, this is planned to accommodate road traffic and vehicle inspection in the state.
In passing the executive bill, the Lagos lawmakers had conducted a public hearing in June to sample the views of all stakeholders and accommodate their inputs in the final draft.
As contained in the bill, riding a motor-cycle against traffic and riding on the kerb, median or road setbacks will attract a fee of N30,000 while a first time offender gets a N20,000.00 fine or the motorcycle gets impounded.
Smoking while driving will attract N20,000.00, failure to give way to traffic on the left at a roundabout N20,000.00, disobeying traffic control will be N20,000.00, violation of route by commercial vehicles will attract N20,000.00. Riding motor-cycle without crash helmet for rider and passenger will attract N20,000.00 or 3 years imprisonment or both.
The law also prohibited under aged person, under 18 years old from riding a motorcycle with fine of N20,000.00.
The bill also seeks to punish the driving of motorcycles or tricycles on major highways in Lagos.
Any learning driver without a learner’s permit will also be fined N20,000.00, driving with fake number plate 1st offender N20,000.00 and 6 months imprisonment or both.
When Governor Fashola signs the bill into law, it will be up to the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) to arrest offenders and hand them over to the courts for hearing and sentencing.