Hard times await motorists who drive against traffic in Lagos as government yesterday launched a special task force codenamed “Anti- One-Way and Other Traffic Offenders Squad,” to checkmate one-way driving and other traffic offences.
This was even as the General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Olajide Oduyoye, cleared the air over the allegation of arbitrary seizure of vehicles.
According to him, driving against traffic in Lagos remains illegal and punishable under the state traffic law. New Telegraph learnt that the special team was raised by the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, at the instance of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, with the specific mandate to arrest and impound vehicles plying one-way, BRT lanes and also motorcyclists operating in restricted areas.
The outfit, led by the Commander of Policemen in Governor’s Monitoring Team (GMT), SP Shola Jejeloye, will complement activities of the existing Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Agency (Task Force) led by CSP Yinka Egbeyemi.
Meanwhile, following the allegation of arbitrary seizure of vehicles, a motorist had, via social media, accused LASTMA officials of deliberately directing motorists to play oneway to link the Third Mainland Bridge via Adekunle, Yaba, in order to seize their vehicles.
The motorist, in a message on the social media entitled: “Connect 3rd Mainland Bridge through Yaba, Adekunle and Forfeit Your Car,” claimed that a LASTMA officer, a policeman or some touts were directing unsuspecting motorists to an alternative route, so as to deceive motorists and impound their vehicles. The message reads: “This is my personal experience yesterday.
The link between Yaba and the bridge is closed for now but you will see a LASTMA officer or a policeman or some touts directing you to an alternative route, if you follow, you will later be arrested for ONE WAY. And the executive order for now is forfeiture. I was arrested yesterday and have been in their office since yesterday.
“About 50 cars have been arrested and brought to their office at Oshodi. They want to forfeit the cars and auction them as they did last week. I was favoured today after calling everyone I know in Lagos and to no avail, to be fined N200,000. Please and please, avoid ONE WAY, anywhere in Lagos now.
They are on revenue drive o. It’s well.” But reacting to the viral message, the LASTMA boss, Oduyoye, said “driving against the traffic remains illegal in the state, irrespective of the area where the offence is committed”.
He said: “Those who are taking the dirt road leading to block makers and mechanic garages do so wilfully knowing full well they intend to drive against traffic at the other exit to travel to the Island when the bridge is closed for maintenance repair.
“The current penalty for driving against normal flow of traffic (oneway) is arrest of vehicle, owner or driver facing magistrate judge and if pronounced guilty of that traffic offence shall forfeit such vehicle used for violation to the government. This scenario does not only refer to the Adekunle 3MLB axis but throughout the state.”