In an interview with Punchng, the General Manager of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Olawale Musa, addressed some issues which have been a major concern to Lagos state motorists. These include the newly increased traffic penalties, which many road users describe as a way of generating revenue rather than easing traffic. These questions include;
1. Is LASTMA creating the traffic laws to generate revenue instead of working on reducing traffic?
Mr. Musa said that the law has been there for a very long time even since the government of the former governor Babatunde Fashola but many people did not know about it. It became a problem when the agency published it for the public. He affirmed that the allegations leveled against the agency is false, and that people are circulating information which only has to do with the penalty of going against the traffic laws.
Mr. Olawale Musa affirms LASTMA's priority is free flow of traffic
In addition, he said that it’s inevitable to control traffic without implementing and enforcing the law, even in other countries, such laws are there but the only difference is that they use technology while LASTMA employs human to do the job here in Nigeria. Likewise, he added that the fines also are not new, and social media has made the job easy by assisting in the circulation of the fines, thus making everyone aware of it.
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2. How new is the forfeiture of vehicle law?
The General added that law which has to do with the forfeiture of vehicle is not new as well as it has been there since the rule of Fashola and was even tougher then as road offenders where taken for psychiatric evaluation.
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3. Reactions of LASTMA when people say the law is oppressive and cruel
“The law is not cruel. It is a misconception.” He said, and added that the way the fines are designed, makes people to obey the law.
“But if the fines are too meager, many people will not respect it. If the fines are there like that, it will make people to respect the law. LASTMA did not make the law but we are just enforcing it” he added.
4. Why is LASTMA doing FRSC jobs like arresting drivers for not fastening their seat belt?
Mr. Musa also elucidated that their agency is doing it as part of their duties since they are mandated with the duty to control traffic; though they do not get involved with all FRSC duties like clearing any damaged vehicle off the road.
He also further denied and clarified the allegation of their traffic officials who intentionally lure motorists to drive against the traffic law and then arrest them for the exact act.
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