Am I the only one that noticed the gradual rise of authority and power that the LASTMA officials have over motorists in Lagos state between the Babatunde Raji Fashola era and present Sanwo-Olu's era?
And since Governor Ambode suppressed the legal power that the V.I.O and Road Safety has over motorists in Lagos by reducing their checkpoints on the road drastically?
LASTMA officials are on every Lagos road, ready to arrest anyone that commits an offence
This just made the LASTMA become the controller general of Lagos roads. LASTMA Lagos caught me 2 times in one week! Lagos is changing, learn from my mistakes.
There are offences you didn't know LASTMA could catch you for in Lagos and that is what I will be sharing with you today: 6 common mistakes LASTMA Lagos want you to make on the road.
However, they are out there for only one reason, to control and manage the pathetic traffic situation of Lagos roads and in turn ease stress of commuters. Yes, they do this but the majority of the officials have become very impractical in their approach to the job.
LASTMA Lagos caught me 2 times in one week! Lagos is changing, learn from my mistakes
Just last week (from the date this article was written) I was driving around Lekki-Epe expressway.
I saw a major junction that led to the 'Ikate' area where I was headed at round 4:32 pm. The Toyota Venza in front of me went straight ahead and crossed the major express using the junction into the 'Ikate road' as the traffic light turned green.
I did the same only for a LASTMA official to stand in front of my car and tell me I passed one way.
He kept trying to seize my driver's license and car documents. It even felt odd showing a LASTMA official my driver's license.
LASTMA official spotted trying to enter a car; I smell trouble
How did crossing and express via an intersection become a one-way? He couldn't explain but he was so sure I had committed an offence.
I begged him seriously because I had an appointment to make a video of some cars waiting for me. We finally settled after I gave him some money as fine for the traffic offence he said I committed.
I later got to know that I wasn't supposed to cross to the other side of the express using that intersection. I was meant to join the express then drive down to Osapa London junction to use the roundabout then connect where I was going.
Why couldn't the LASTMA official just tell me to go back? Why was he trying to seize my driver's license and car documents? This is because they have gotten hyped up with power and all they can think of right now is making money off people like me that are new to driving in different areas of Lagos.
Just 3 days after this incident, I was driving from Victoria Island to Surulere area of Lagos using the Eko Bridge.
There were 3 lanes and I was on the 3rd lane. I drove for 1 minute and found out that only two lanes led to the bridge while the 3rd one was an exit to take motorists to the other side of the bridge.
Immediately I tried to merge with the right lane, LASTMA officials came out with their spiked tyre buster and placed it in front of my front tyre.
They gave me no chance to explain why I was merging with the lane. So it is impossible to change your mind about going in a particular direction. That is what they meant and that is just very inhumane and inconsiderate.
Before I tell you how to prevent LASTMA from catching you in Lagos these days, let me highlight the traffic offences that you are likely to commit without even knowing in Lagos these days. These offences are the mistakes LASTMA wants you to make so that they can jump in front of your car and lead you to their office for collection of the fine.
6 common mistakes LASTMA Lagos want you to make on the road
1. Merging with a lane that leads to a diversion
This is the major reason why LASTMA Lagos officials arrest motorists these days.
Motorists that try to merge with a lane that leads to an exit off the expressway will be caught for obstructing the flow of traffic, one of traffic rules and regulations in Nigeria issued by FRSC.
Every driver needs to clearly stay on the lane that leads to that exit from the beginning of the queue.
Can you see how those cars are queued up? that is how it should be
Even if it is the one lane that has slow-moving traffic amongst the 8 lanes on the expressway, you still have to queue up from the beginning because once any LASTMA official sees you trying to merge onto the lane after moving past all the cars queued up by using a free lane, you will surely be arrested.
Stop thinking other drivers queuing up are not as smart as you. Just have that little patience and save your pocket some fine.
2. Parking a vehicle on the highway, a walkway or curb
In our Lagos of today, you park your car on the road for 5 minutes and you might come back and find out it has been towed away by LASTMA because you committed an improper parking offence.
Stop parking carelessly!
No matter the emergency, always confirm that you are parked in a proper parking area before you step out of the car because these guys don't accept any form of plea and they try to never reason with you.
Empathy is not their strength at all.
3. Not using your seatbelt
In the past, sighting only FRSC officials triggers you to check if you are wearing the seatbelt or not but these days, LASTMA officials are out for seatbelts too. This was even how I noticed that things had changed.
4. Making wrong U-turns
Wrong U-turns happen a lot when you are driving in new areas.
You need to know that not every opening between two opposite lanes is a U-turn point. Some are just damaged parts of the roads while some are just there to lure you into committing an offence.
When you see this sign, don't ever try to turn
Most times, an opening between two opposite lanes should have the "NO U-TURN" but if it is absent and you make the U-turn, sadly you will be caught and fined.
5. Making use of phones
Using phones has always been illegal because it distracts drivers and causes accidents on the roads but as technology advanced, mobile phones gained the ability to help drivers navigate road maps.
In case you didn't know, LASTMA has the right to arrest you if you are caught using your phone for anything at all while driving. From calling to texting and even using Google Maps to find your way.
6. Dropping/picking passengers on highways
Gone are the days when you can just lift a stranger from an expressway or drop people off on the side of major highways without getting arrested.
You can only drop-off/pick-up people at designated bus-stops. If you try to violate this, your tyre will face a spike-strip and serious money will leave your pocket before the spike-strip leaves the face of your tyre.
Traffic situation will not get better if you keep breaking rules, obey LASTMA
Hence, I present to you my ultimate guide to avoid LASTMA wahala in Lagos State.
Recap: How to avoid getting caught by LASTMA officials on the road
- When you are driving on a major expressway, be sure of your next exit off the express and keep to the right lane.
- Use phone holders in your car so that you can use maps without holding your phone.
- Use hands-free devices to make calls with your phones.
- Only stop at clear parking areas when travelling along any Lagos road.
- Do not U-Turn anywhere you cannot see a U-Turn sign. If you are not sure, it is better you don't turn.
LASTMA Lagos has gotten more powerful than how they used to be. This is why LASTMA caught me 2 times in one week! I have highlighted the offences you didn't know LASTMA could catch you for in Lagos. Stay away from trouble and keep your money in your pocket with our compilation of 6 common mistakes LASTMA Lagos want you to make on the road.
At Naijauto.com we care about your knowledge and safety as a driver in Nigeria. You should see details on how to maintain every car brand in Nigeria from the common Toyota, Honda, Mazda to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and others.
>>> Stay tuned with us for more interesting car tips and advice like this brought to you by our auto experts.