Ever since the year 1999, Lagos state government has been known for coming up with impressive and innovative laws that reflect so much vision for development. But making laws isn’t always as important as enforcing them. When it comes to public road plying rules and/or traffic laws in Lagos, improvement is needed as the state government has failed severally in enforcing these particular laws. In fact, it feels as if the government is lacking the firmness in enforcing these road laws or rules.
Most of the time, political sentiment, fear of losing the people’s vote in a re-election and the possibility of losing political funds from lack of sponsors are the major reasons why the government has been failing to enforce these laws.
As the current leading automobile listing website in Nigeria, Naijauto.com brings to you “10 Lagos Traffic Laws yet to be enforced by the government till date”.
1. Bus Conductors hanging out of moving buses
There has always been this very dangerous act adopted by commercial bus (Danfo) conductors to be hanging out of the buses while in motion. This custom had been adopted and existing long before this era of modern times in Lagos.
Bus conductor dangerously hanging out of a moving Danfo
Many of the adults in Lagos today had been witnessing this act since they were young till date. Several complaints, warnings, and attempted bans have been made by the government, civilians, and military concerning this practice but none yielded a lasting resolution.
2. The compulsion of safety helmets for motorcyclists
One of the road traffic policies constituted in 2008, under governor Fashola’s administration mandated motorcyclists to possess at least two safety helmets before they could commute within the city.
A funny Lagos motorcyclist's mimic of safety helmet
One helmet for the motorcyclist and one for the passenger. Not so long after this policy was imposed, a new instruction surfaced stating that the motorcyclists in the state are to only acquire the helmets provided by the state government and this new rule only lasted for a short time just like every other one that had come out before.
3. Prohibition of unregistered taxi/cabs operations
Activities and operations of “Kabu Kabu” or unregistered cabs in Lagos had once been a major concern to the government during the decline of the military rule in the state because these unregistered cabs (Kabu Kabu) were difficult to regularize or tax and they also attract negative security concerns. Nonetheless, as democracy returned to the state, lot of moves were made to kick against this practice.
Lagos Kabu Kabu (unregistered cabs) picking passengers
The Lagos state ministry of transportation under the Fashola regime came up with an act that they forwarded to the Lagos state house of assembly for regularizing the operations of these unregistered cabs (Kabu Kabu). The act was instituted to make sure all Kabu Kabu operators register and obtain a license from the government before they could be allowed operations within the state. Even though this rule proved important in saving Lagos residents from life-threatening risks, it didn’t even live its worth before it became totally ignored and left out.
4. Complete Ban on commercial motorcycles ("Okada")
“Okada” is the local name given to commercial motorcycle in Lagos state. This Okada, with no doubt, can be said to be such a nuisance to the city and it has been adversely affecting all of its communities. For different ridiculous reasons, this pervasive mode of transport has been allowed to be adopted to a great extent. One noticeable instance is the increase in patronage enjoyed by orthopedic clinics due to increased cases of Okada accidents. It has also become the most adopted convenient transport mode for criminals in Lagos especially in areas with busy vehicular traffic.
Is Lagos Okada ban Fashola's most controversial decision?
Lagos state has witnessed several failed attempts to forbid this publicly accepted mode of transport by consecutive governments. Although the administration of governor Fashola in 2012, took bold steps and was able to institute a firm ban on the operations of this Okadas. This 2012 ban disallowed the commercial motorcycles (Okada) from commuting on 475 roads in the city. But only after a short period, these Okada operations was resumed back fully on the same roads.
5. Eight hours at a stretch drive limit for Danfo drivers
The Lagos state government under the rule of governor Fashola in 2013, brought up a preposterous idea. A rule that prohibits commercial bus operations from extending over 8 hours a day. They derived this rule from Section 44 of the road traffic law which stated that drivers of public buses are disallowed from driving past 8 hours in one continuous period/session.
An exhausted or distressed bus driver left behind the wheel can endanger many lives
This 8-hour drive limit law was started in January 2014 but again, its enforcement faded just like every other policy the state government had ever brought out.
6. Management of street gates' locking and opening hours
Another part of governor Fashola’s administration plan to relieve the state of severe traffic congestion at peak hours was implemented when the government overruled unnecessary locking of street gates especially for the streets or roads that could provide alternative paths to motorists.
The familiar Lagos street gates, ever-annoying to public motorists when locked
The state authorities instructed Landlord Associations and also residents to never lock the gates of their streets until late hours of the evening. Results of this policy were clearly visible as former gridlock-prone roads witnessed a great level of decongestion in its traffic during those times. Even this law proved beneficial a lot, its enforcement has been relaxed significantly today.
7. Having assigned bus routes for street vehicles ("Danfo")
Sometimes ago during the administration of the same governor Fashola, a well-coordinated system was instituted which involved assigning specific paths/routes to each Danfo to ply. This system proved its worth by cutting down trends of criminal activities in the state, especially the ones initially facilitated by using Danfo buses. Not to even mention how much the system helped in curbing the most notable re-occurring criminal activity trend of that period named “One Chance” by the Lagos residents.
This system involved designating every “Danfo” and also “Molue” buses on particular routes. The government even went to the extent of making these assigned routes were printed on the chassis of the buses. This rule came, stayed for a while but also faded away like every other one before it.
8. Over-priced wastebaskets for commercial buses
This law was one of the most ridiculously implemented rules in the state. The Lagos state government under the administration of governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu mandated vehicle operators to possess a wastebasket in each of their vehicles all the time. This measure was said to be designed to keep bus passengers from throwing waste materials out of vehicles unto the street. Cool isn’t?
Well, it was, until the same government started mandating every bus driver to only purchase government-branded wastebaskets which were of course sold at outrageous prices. Even the dumbest of human could clearly see after a while that the policy was one instituted to extort money from the poor drivers to enrich the purses of the government.
9. A ban on the ever-annoying Agberos
Lagos motor park officers are known as the “Agberos”, popularly known for collecting illegal funds forcefully at general motor parks. They were also once touched in all this state government drama. The governor Fashola-led administration on August 3rd, 2012, enacted a new road traffic law which stated an immediate ban of every activity of these illegal RTREAN, NURTW, etc. officials or Agberos to name them properly.
A Lagos motor park officer “Agbero” asking for some sort of fund
Enforcement of this law had only lasted for just 3 days before the operations of these Agberos came back to life. It is still one of such a ridiculous mystery in the state till today as to the question “Why hasn’t any successive government in the state revisit or re-enforce this law?”.
10. Street/Road trading in traffic
Like in every other state in Nigeria, getting a decent paying job has never been easy in Lagos state, even with good educational qualifications nonetheless. This among other reasons is why you will find street traders everywhere in the state especially in places known for common traffic gridlocks. These traders sell different things but mostly consumables in the middle of the road and in traffic. But they have always happened to also be a major concern for successive Lagos state governments.
Lagos street traders hawking their products amidst traffic
In 2016, the governor Ambode-led administration began a campaign targeted at getting rid of eradicating street traders and hawkers from the state. With so much display of will-power back then, the state government even went ahead to invest a huge amount of resources into promoting their intentions towards achieving the vision. They printed street signs that clearly indicated street trading as being prohibited and these signs were brought out and installed all around Lagos state. Notwithstanding, the government still feared that these actions might backfire at them at the election polls. So, they had to later abandon the whole plan.
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