…As LASG vows to step up enforcement on Okoda menace
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government has revealed that over 1500 accidents involving tricycles and motorcycles were reported from 2015 till 2019 with 689 victims dead and over 250 injured across the state.
Therefore, the state government has vowed to embark on full enforcement of the 2012 Lagos Traffic Law, in order to restore sanity in the state.
The government said the measure has become necessary following flagrant abuse of the laws by motorcycle, popularly called “Okada” and tricycle riders, saying the menace “can no longer be condoned.”
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, who stated this on Sunday, affirmed that the ongoing enforcement would be stepped up across the state to check riders violating the laws.
“The violation of traffic laws by commercial motorcyclists is unacceptable, thereby necessitating the enforcement of the state Traffic Law 2018 to pave the way for the implementation of the present administration’s transportation project,” Omotoso stated.
According to him, “The alarming negative statistics resulting from motorcycle accidents and the compelling need to enhance safety led to the introduction of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012, which was reviewed in 2018.
“The law among others, makes the use of safety helmets by riders and passengers of motorcycles compulsory, obedience of traffic lights and signage mandatory and the conveyance of more than a passenger, expectant women, adults with babies, as well as children of school age forbidden. Their operations were restricted on 475 roads, including highways and bridges,” Omotoso stated.
While giving breakdown of statistics from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Omotoso, stated that “no fewer than 619 people were killed or seriously injured in motorcycle accidents within 2015 and 2016. A police report released during the same period also indicated that of the 30 armed robbery cases recorded between July and September, commercial motorcycle riders perpetrated 22 while over 200 cases of motorcycle accidents have been recorded monthly at health facilities across the state in the last three years,” Omotoso declared.
Omotoso added: “We cannot fold our arms and watch them disrupt the peace of the State. Over 1500 accidents involving tricycles, were reported across the state from 2015 till 2019, while over 70 people died and 250 injured.
“30 robbery cases involving motorcycles were reported in 2019, out of which 20 were foiled by the Police, who arrested 25 suspects and recovered 48 arms and ammunition.”
Lamenting the era of indecency exhibited by motorcycle and tricycle riders, the Commissioner stated that their consistent and brazen disregard for the law, in addition to drug abuse by many should be a matter of concern for residents.
“Okada is being used to escape after robberies. Besides, the influx into the state of many riders without traceable addresses and valid means of identification, in spite of the provision for a rider’s permit, remains a huge security and safety threat to residents,” Omotoso said.
He asserted that “Aside from the sheer size of the industry, the level of indiscipline, security concerns and, particularly, the level of fatalities being recorded daily, demand appropriate and very serious sanctions. The government, in line with its T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, is addressing the challenge decisively.”