VENTURES AFRICA – Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has signed a new traffic law in a move to ensure the safety of lives and properties on Lagos roads, establish order and improve the efficiency of the state’s transport network.
The traffic law prohibits trailer trucks, except fuel tankers and passenger trucks, from entering, or travelling within Lagos metropolis from 6am to 9pm. Truck drivers are also to be tested for drunkenness.
Drunk driving, particularly by these truck drivers has significantly contributed to random gridlock and the alarming rate of auto accidents within the state, resulting in the loss of lives and properties. According to the Nigerian Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State alone recorded a total of 39,141 road accidents, between 1997 and 2002, resulting in the death of 10,132 persons and 18,972 injuries.
Trailers transporting within the city during the restricted hours, are to be impounded with the option of a 50, 000 naira ($310) fine, and defaulting truck drivers are to be imprisoned for six months.
The newly signed law also restricts commercial motorcycles from riding through the expressways and bridges within the metropolis. And if permitted, commercial motorcycle operators can only operate between 6am and 8pm. Courier motorcycles conforming to stipulated conditions were however exempted from the prohibition.
Governor Fashola commenting at the signing of the law, stated that from January to July 2012, over 722 cases of commercial motorcycle accidents were recorded at the state’s university teaching hospital.
According to the governor, the law which took 18 months to prepare would not take effect until it has been gazetted, circulated to all concerned stakeholders, and the general public has been enlightened.
Lagos is the commercial pulse of Africa’s second-largest economy, Nigeria, and has an estimated population of 16 million.
On a daily basis, economic productivity is substantially dwindled due to hours lost to perennial traffic gridlocks. As the centre of one of the world’s fastest emerging economies, the state is set to mitigate its transport problems with the new law.