Lagos traffic: ‘Unruly motorists risk 3-year imprisonment’

By Samuel Alonge
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday urged motorists to comply with the provisions of the State Traffic Laws, warning that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on offenders.

In a statement, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem (SAN), said motorists must be reminded that violators of the law risk between one and three years imprisonment and forfeiture of their vehicles to the State Government.

He said the Ministry of Justice, through the Mobile Courts, would intensify effort to prosecute the lawlessness of unruly motorists to restore sanity on Lagos roads.

This development, according to him, is in line with the directive given by Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State on efforts of the Government to curb the lawlessness of some motorists, which in recent times, had led to gridlock and caused untold hardship for commuters in the State.

Specifically, Kazeem said the Ministry of Justice would ensure full implementation and compliance with the Road Traffic Law and other extant Laws on road management applicable in the State.

According to him, “The public is hereby reminded of the provisions of the Road Traffic Law, Laws of Lagos State 2015 and in particular, Section 7 which provides:

Where an officer of the Authority is for the time being engaged in the regulation of the traffic on the highway or where any traffic sign being a traffic sign direction for regulating the movement of traffic or regulating the route to be followed by vehicle has been lawfully placed on or near a Highway in accordance with the provisions of this law, any person driving or propelling any vehicle who-

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(a) neglects or refuses to stop the vehicle or to make it proceed or to keep to a particular lane or direction of traffic when directed to do so by the Officer in execution of his duties or

(b) drives his vehicle against oncoming traffic or fails to conform to the direction or indication given by the traffic sign, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction for:

(i) first offender one (1) year imprisonment and forfeiture of the vehicle to the State

(ii) second and subsequent offender three (3) years imprisonment and forfeiture of the vehicle to the State.

(c ) all offenders shall have their data and biometrics captured.”

The Attorney General further explained that, Schedule 1 of the said law, lists various traffic violations such as disobeying traffic control personnel and assault on their person, parking on yellow line, use of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route by unauthorised vehicle, among others as offences that would be strictly prosecuted.

Kazeem, therefore, advised members of the public to be law abiding and co-operate with traffic officials in ensuring compliance and sanity on the roads.

Failure to do so, according to him, will cause the State to bring the full weight of the law on such offenders, adding: “Lagos State Government remains committed to enforcement of Law and Order to make living in the State an enjoyable and stress-free experience.”

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