By Olasunkanmi Akoni
THE Lagos State Government has said henceforth all motorists in the state must undergo re-certification through retraining aimed at ensuring safety and security on the roads.
The government also said the re-certification of drivers â€œis not a substitute to driversâ€™ licence, but a response to address emerging challenges on the Lagos roads.â€
Special Adviser to theGovernor on Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, made the remarks yesterday when he led media men to undergo the retraining and re-certification test at the Oshodi Driversâ€™ Institute located in Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) premises.
According to Opeifa, the state government had also purchased 25 towing vehicles which include crushes to ease traffic challenges on the Lagos roads.
A source who preferred anonymity at the centre confirmed to Vanguard that over 200 motorists had undergone the retraining and re-certification test, adding: â€œMany other motorists are trooping in to the centreâ€.
It was learnt that when the enforcement finally commences, any offender caught without the re-certification identity card would be arrested and prosecuted.
The fine for private offender is N50,000 while that of corporate body is N250,000. The actual day for enforcement is yet to be announced.
Earlier, media men were shown a slide demonstration of how drivers should behave under various road and weather conditions.
It will be recalled that Governor Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday commissioned the Ikorodu Driversâ€™ Institute to signal the final take off of the re-certification programme.
He said the centre would be managed by the State Ministry of Transportation, explaining that the measure was another significant to enhance safety and sanity on Lagos roads. The second of the centres will be commissioned in Ikeja tomorrow.
His words: â€œAs we hand over for public use, one of our planned five new Lagos State Driversâ€™ Institute (LASDRI).. The driversâ€™ institute which commences operation today will immediately begin to function to ensure that all public and private drivers on our roads have the requisite skills, knowledge and temperament to drive safely in our highways.
â€œEven as we continue to aggressively construct new roads throughout the state and systematically enhance our traffic management capacity, we recognise the need for drivers to continuously update their driving skills and awareness of traffic regulations if we are to achieve the desired level of road safety in a mega-city like Lagos.â€
Fashola disclosed that preliminary research indicated that the lack of traffic knowledge and poor attitude by the general public were the most critical challenges responsible for majority of pollution and in many cases, traffic congestion.
In his address, Commissioner for Transportation, Professor Bamidele Badejo said as a responsible state government through his ministry had invested a lot of resources in traffic management, control and enforcement to ensure free movement of goods and services devoid of usual traffic congestion.
He added that the institute is to address the last and the most important factor that contributes in no small measure to the incidence of road crashes and disorderliness in the vehicle, environment and man interactions on the roads.
He said realising that the competence of most drivers in the country with Lagos having over 20mpercent of vehicles in Nigeria was questionable, due to the way and manner they acquire driving skills and obtain drivers license, decided to set up the institute through the ministry of transportation.
The institute has the following facilities that will ensure conducive learning, behaviour modification and examination for drivers: Ultra modern eye centre to examine driversâ€™ vision, a simulator room for driver analysis and training, a 75 seater auditorium complete with audio visuals among others.