LASTMA loses 18 officers in 8 months

The Lagos State Government has disclosed that 18 of its traffic personnel died in active service between January and August.

The General Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr Olajide Oduyoye gave this figure on Friday during an inspection of LASTMA’s facilities by the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Transportation.

While inspecting LASTMA’s facilities, the general manager expressed concern over flagrant violation of traffic law. Such violations he said included indiscriminate parking of vehicles along the roads and the improper planning approval given to filling stations and event centres.

He said the agency had staff strength of 4239, three officers had been dismissed while 18 had died from active service.

The LASTMA boss said that 13,461 vehicles were involved in traffic violations between January and August this year.

Oduyoye told the committee that the agency was facing numerous challenges such as inadequate provision of space for impounded vehicles.

Oduyoye said other challenges included non-availability of zonal office, change/refresh rooms for officers, non-availability of functional patrol vehicles and inadequate recovery vehicles.

He noted that the agency lacked signage that was required for speed limits and no parking on the highway.

The committee also visited Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL), Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) and the Lagos State Number Plate Production Authority.

The Chairman, House Committee on Transportation, Mr Temitope Adewale (Ifako-Ijaiye I) led Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako Ijaye II), Hon. Ganiyu Okanlawon (Kosofe I) and Hon. Lanre Afinni (Lagos Island II) to inspect LASTMA’s facilities.

After the inspection, Adewale said the assembly would make provisions for compulsory lane markings, traffic laws signals on highways in the ongoing amendment of the Lagos Traffic Law and Regulations.

Adewale said there would be appropriate sanctions for violators of traffic lane marking on the highway, adding that the signs and markings on the highway would further reduce the gridlock experienced by motorists.

“In the new amendment of the Traffic Law before the House, under Section 28 of the bill, we have made provisions for compulsory lane marking, traffic light signals and registering of signs.

“This is to further enhance the LASTMA jobs and the House of Assembly will continue to support the agency,” he said.

Adewale said the assembly had received hundreds of petitions from the public on the excessiveness of LASTMA officials, adding that it was also aware of unruly private and commercial drivers in the state.

He said: “With the population of over 22 million people, we only have 4239 LASTMA officers, therefore, there is a need for more traffic officers on our roads.

“There is a need for improved welfare and there is a need for them to be equipped properly with traffic control infrastructure.

“We know that the LASTMA job is the toughest because there is constant vehicular movement from one point to another everyday within the metropolis and beyond.

“However, it is the duty of the agency to ensure free flow of traffic within the state and we know this has been a difficult task to accomplish,” he said.

Adewale said he was impressed with the rate of enforcement by the agency, urging it to continue to improve on its enforcement exercise in order to have free flow of traffic across the major highways. – Thisday.

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