By OLASUNKANMI AKONI & EBUN SESSOU
Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a bill for a law to repeal and re-enact the road traffic law and to make provisions for road traffic and vehicle inspection in Lagos into law for Governor Babatunde Fashola’s assent.
The new amended traffic law which was passed last Thursday, stipulates that driving in a direction prohibited by the road traffic law, that is driving against traffic, popularly known as one way driving now attracts a 3-year jail term, while a first offender gets one year term and the vehicle forfeited to the state government.
Also, bullion vans are not exempted from the law as any bullion van driven in a direction prohibited by the road traffic law will be forfeited, while abandoned vehicle on highway will be fined N50,000.00 or three years imprisonment, or both fine and imprisonment.
The bill which emanated from the executive arm is aimed at regulating vehicular movement and to impose sanctions on any erring vehicle operator in the state.
Lawmakers had carefully examined the bill in June during a public hearing where all stakeholders were invited and their input and memoranda were considered at the committee stage.
According to schedule (1) section (2) of traffic offences and penalties it stated that riding a motor-cycle against traffic and riding on the kerb, median or road setbacks, 1st time offender will attract N20,000.00, subsequent offender N30,000.00 or the rider’s motor-cycle will be impounded.
Smoking while driving will attract N20,000.00, failure to give way to traffic on the left at a roundabout N20,000.00, disobeying traffic control will be N20,000.00 violation of route by commercial vehicles will attract N20,000.00. Riding motor-cycle without crash helmet for rider and passenger will attract N20,000: 00 or 3years imprisonment or both.
The law also prohibited under aged person, under 18yrs old, riding a motorcycle with fine of N20,000.00.
Operating a motor-cycle in a restricted area on or prohibited route will be fined N20,000.00 or his motor-cycle impounded.
In schedule II, section (4) or prohibited route for motorcycle and tricycle on major highways in Lagos. The highways are Lagos Ibadan expressway, Apapa Oshodi, Oworonshoki, Lagos Ikorodu, Lagos-Abeokuta, Babangida Boulevarde way, others are Eti-Osa Lekki Epe expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue, Agege motor road and Eti-Osa Lekki coastal road.
Section (4) of the bill stipulates vehicle inspection offences and penalties which includes driving without valid driver’s license. Such offender would have his vehicle impounded. Learner driver without permit will attract N20,000.00, driving with fake number plate 1st offender N20,000.00 and 6 months imprisonment or both. Fashola is expected to sign the bill into law soon.