Lagos. The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, has affirmed that the Laws of Lagos state gives it statutory powers under the relevant provisions of the Lagos State Traffic Laws of 2012 (as amended) to impound any uncooperative vehicle and arrest motorists that violate any section of the law.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LASTMA, Chris Olakpe, said this while receiving members of the Humanitarian Voluntary Association for Community Development who came to express sympathy over the death of 18 traffic officials of the agency that died in 2018 in the line of duty. Lastma officials face frequent occupational hazards on roads.
LASTMA officials impound a vehicle
As a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Olakpe said that the traffic laws of the state empowered officials of the Agency to arrest alleged offenders where appropriate and compel them to pay the fines stipulated for the offence under the law. He added that as clarification regarding information in some sections of the media, which implied the agency was not fully empowered by the law of the state to make arrests. Recently a judge in a case involving the Authority had ruled that it over-stepped its statutory authority when it arrested the plaintiff and impounded his vehicle.
Said Olakpe, “One thing the people must know is that the purpose of laws in any state is to regulate human conduct and punish violators, to ensure safety and sanity on the roads and at the same time regulate the function and authority of traffic personnel.”.
The CEO added that the agency discovered that road mishaps are results of bad driving behavior, saying that it's necessary that the public cooperates with traffic officers on the road.
He appealed to motorists to should stop taking laws into their hands but instead report any erring officer to LASTMA, as they have the privilege of an open-door policy by LASTMA in such situations.
A LASTMA official on the ground as a result of a gun wound, officers face lots of dangers
Olakpe added that from January 2019 till date, it is unfortunate that the transport Authority has had 30 traffic officials brutalized by ill-tempered motorists. The welfare of the officers on duty matters to the LASTMA since they owe it their workers the responsibility to protect and ensure safety and security to the officials and their families.
He concluded by saying that any motorist who fell afoul of the law would have his vehicle seized and taken to ‘LASTMA Yard’ where he/she would face the necessary punishment which is in accordance with the relevant sections of the law.
>>> Learn all you need to about traffic regulations on safety tips section on naijauto.com