Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The newly created Lagos traffic law is for human safety, says Fashola
Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola says his administration decided to promulgate the new Lagos road traffic law in order to enhance safety, economic productivity and quality of life of Lagosians.
Fashola spoke at an interactive session with senior media practitioners in Lagos, saying compliance with the law would also enhance physical and mental health as well as life expectancy of citizens, as traffic remains a major determinant of the economy of any society.
He said the new law became expedient because of the increase in the population of the people and vehicular traffic adding that some of the offences being committed on the roads today were not there when the population of the state was less than 10 million.
He illustrated the tremendous change in traffic that has taken place in the State from a picture of Carter Bridge which was displayed on the screen at the Hall saying even with an orderly traffic situation the less than 500, 000 population still complained of traffic hold up in the city then.
“Today, we are about 21 million people. They were not driving against traffic then; traffic was somewhat organised but people at that time were complaining. That was when go-slow started.
Governor Fashola noted that his administration did not just get up to promulgate the law without due consultation adding, “We did not just make the law.
Two years ago we called together all these men, we gathered them, some of you were there, and appealed to them. At that time some of our colleagues in other states had banned the ‘okada’, but we did not ban them because we recognized the alternate use that compelled their existence”.
The governor said the intention of his administration was demand to have a better means of transportation pointing out that if the issue of non-compliance is removed from the traffic situation in the State, it is not different from what is obtainable on a daily basis in the so-called developed countries of the world.
“The same traffic that you see here in Lagos, if you remove the non-compliance, the drive against traffic and all that, it is the same traffic that you see in London in the morning and evening, it is the same traffic that you see in New York morning and evening. You see it in San Francisco in the morning and evening; it is called rush hour”, the Governor further explained.
Fashola, however, said the difference between us and those other countries was that we seem to have stopped our efforts to improve our traffic situation even though we complain that we are held up in traffic everyday adding, “but we are the one propagating it”.
Noting that traffic congestion is a global phenomenon, Fashola said the Mayor of New York is imposing a congestion tax while also London has the same tax adding, “but why should we have congestion tax here because there is no congestion. I don’t take taxi in New York because it is better to walk than to drive”.