By Uchediuor Augusta
Lagos – The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has allayed fears of motorists over enforcement of Traffic Laws in the state.
In a statemement signed by the General Manager, Mr Olawale Musa, on Thursday, the agency asked members of the public, especially motorists not to be apprehensive of the fines being circulated on social media platforms.
According to him, it is not a punitive measure but part of the law and measures that have been put in place to restore sanity to roads in the state.
Musa said the 2018 traffic law was an improvement of the 2012 law with objectives of addressing the void and inadequacies noticed with a view to improving traffic control and management, safeguarding motorists’ rights and improving road safety.
The general manager said it would eliminate impunity and disorderliness on roads, and end traffic officers’ overzealousness and arbitrariness while on duty.
“It will reveal the process of implementing traffic laws in the state in democratised order and ensure that cases of traffic infractions are proven, determined and punished accordingly by law courts.
“This will allow for fair hearing and transparency in implementation of the law.
“The process has also put burden of proof on traffic officials and are therefore to be more professional, civil and polite to motorists and members of the public.
“But firm against violators of the law so as to check cases of impunity on the road,” Musa said.
According to him, the law states further that the existing law is not new to the public, but only being more emphasised.
“We frown at a situation where motorists embark on flagrant disobedience of traffic laws, driving against on coming vehicles, parking of vehicles and picking of passengers at undesignated places,” he added.
Musa said on the issue of forfeiture of vehicles for driving against flow of traffic, that this should not be misconstrued with the “One-Way” offence.
According to him, LASTMA has not apprehended any vehicle for one-way this year.
He noted that while the agency had adopted the approach of being civil and humane in its dealings with the public, this was being played up with observable civil disobedience on the roads prompting the need for sterner measures.
He said that regardless of any circumstances, officials of LASTMA would remain civil but firm on the side of the law in the discharge of their duties.
Musa added that the surest route to eliminating disorderliness, chaos and impunity on the roads was through obedience of law.
He advised law abiding citizens to drive on the roads without fear of harassment by LASTMA officials.
Musa also urged members of the public to report cases of harassment and extortion to the agency for investigation and appropriate action.
He, however, urged road users to cooperate with traffic officials and obey traffic laws.
According to him, motorists are advised to avail themselves of the 2018 traffic law on the agency`s media platforms.