Gridlock: Ambode talks tough, warns tank farm owners, commercial drivers

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Lagos  –  Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Friday said enforcement of the state traffic law would commence to ease the state of traffic gridlock and criminal activities.
Ambode spoke at a news conference on the security and traffic situation in the state, shortly after a Security Council meeting at Lagos House, Alausa.
He gave a 90-day grace period to all tank farms to build holding bays so as to ameliorate the sufferings motorists face in Apapa area of the state.
“Any tank farm that fails to provide a holding bay after this grace period will be shut down by the state government.
“In addition, tank farm owners must desist from allocating pick-up papers to trucks beyond and above their daily capacity as is the case presently,” Ambode said.
According to him, the tank farms and the petrol tankers contribute significantly to traffic in the area.
He warned motorcycles and tricycles against plying the expressways as stipulated in the traffic law.
Ambode said that traffic crimes and robbery were easily traced to the menace of commercial motorcycle riders and street hawkers.
“As we proceed to implement our plans to actualise other modes of transportation, commercial motorcycles remain a stop-gap remedy,” he said.
Ambode said that henceforth, all commercial vehicles, except Bus Rapid Transport buses, must use only the service lanes in accordance with existing traffic laws.
“All conductors of commercial buses must sit down in their buses and keep the doors closed at all times while in motion.
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“It is against the law for conductors to hang on the bus doors and leave the doors open.
“Any bus contravention will be met with severe punitive measures,” he said.
The governor said commercial buses could only drop and pick passengers at officially designated bus stops henceforth.
“Any illegal and indiscriminate picking and dropping of passengers is against the law.
“Other road users who break traffic laws will pay a compulsory traffic fine in accordance with the law.
“Mobile traffic courts are being introduced to prosecute offenders promptly.
“In addition to motorcycles being used for crime, commercial buses are a menace on our roads.
They have become very lawless and reckless.
“Many road users, especially those who should know better, seem to have also joined them in breaking traffic laws,” he said.
He implored motorists to desist from patronising hawkers in the traffic.
“The next hawker could be a robber or terrorist. You are now well advised.
“If we all cooperate and decide not to buy, gradually and collectively, the hawkers will not come to the highways and streets anymore.
“Our roads will definitely become safer,” he said.
Ambode said his government was totally committed to the security of lives and property as well as enforcing the rule of law.
“We will not allow a few notorious elements in our midst to cause a breakdown in law and order and upset the peace that we are used to in the state,” he said.
Ambode urged all residents to be part of the continuity and improvement promised by his administration.
He said that security agencies had been directed to increase their presence on the roads and highways to ensure greater safety.
“Once again, I am committed to a safer, cleaner and more prosperous Lagos; a Lagos that works for all,” he said.
All relevant stakeholders present expressed readiness to comply and cooperate with the government to achieve its goals. (NAN)

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