Lagos vows to impound trailers moving at restricted hours, moves against street traders

container truck drivers

trailer container truckThe Lagos State Government has restated its determination to ensure strict enforcement of the Road Traffic Law 2012, restricting trailers and long vehicles from plying the metropolis between the hours of 6am to 9pm.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Oluseyi Whenu, who spoke to journalists on the backdrop of the fatal accident involving a container-laden trailer on September 2, said the trailer contravened Section 2 (i) and 2 (ii) of the Traffic Law.

To this end, Whenu said the state government will henceforth go tough on any trailer and long vehicle that contravenes the law as such vehicle will be impounded and made to pay the stipulated fine accordingly.

Meanwhile, leaders of various transport unions and associations in the state at the weekend rose from a meeting with officials of the state government with a resolve to support the new directive introduced in apprehending traffic offenders.

Whenu, at the meeting clarified the state government’s position on the new directive, saying that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials have not been withdrawn from performing their statutory responsibilities on the road.

He said the new directive would pay more emphasis on flawless flow of traffic, while traffic offenders will now be booked and expected to pay their fines within the stipulated period in line with the state government’s covenant with Lagosians to make life easier for them.

He therefore solicited the co-operation and support of all transport operators in ensuring the success of this laudable initiative and to also warn their members not to see this act of humanness by the State Government as a sign of weakness by attacking LASTMA or any other enforcement agents, as this would be sanctioned in accordance with relevant provisions of the law.

Responding, State Chairman of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Alhaji Musa Muhammed, who spoke on behalf of other union leaders, welcomed the new initiative just as he pledged the support of their members in co-operating with the state government in maintaining law and order and sanity in the transport sector.

The government has also restated its readiness to fully enforce the provisions of the law restricting street trading in the metropolis.

Chairman of the State Task Force on Environmental and Other Special Offences (Enforcement Unit), Olubukola Abe, a Superintendent of Police, who gave the commitment while speaking to journalists in Alausa, Ikeja said the new drive is to reduce the traffic congestion on the road, often caused by the street trading.

Abe said that Section 1 of the Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law 2003 restricts street trading and hawking in the metropolis.

“Section 7 and 8 of the same law gives jurisdiction and power to the special court to order the seizure and public auction of items impounded for street tradition,” he said.

Abe, who said his men are prepared to step up enforcement of the relevant sections of the law, urged motorists not to encourage street traders by patronising them.

According to him, Section 10 of the law prescribes a N5000 fine or three months imprisonment upon conviction.

He said the implication of the violation of the law is multifaceted.

“Aside from the far-reaching implication of street trading in terms of accidents which in most cases are fatal, street trading also affects the free flow of traffic in the metropolis as well as contradicting the environmental sanitation laws by littering our streets with waste generated from the act.

“We have had reports on the activities of persons who pose as beggars, especially in traffic, but their sole aim is to perpetrate evil. We are putting a search light on this trend and one way to do that is to ensure that we take pre-emptive measures to forestall this development,” he said.