By Joy Abalaka
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday disclosed that 131 motorcycles, popularly known as okadas and 150 vehicles have been impounded by the Task Force for violating traffic laws of the state.
The impoundment came on the heel of series of attacks on the Lagos State Task Force by okada riders on Tuesday and Wednesday.
But the state government said it would not be deterred by lawless okada riders and motorists, vowing to bring sanity back to Lagos roads, in the aftermath of #EndSARS violence.
Lagos Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement said 15 okada riders had also been arrested, while 35 drivers have had their vehicles forfeited to the state government for driving against the flow of traffic.
“The Lagos State Government will continue to enforce its traffic laws to maintain sanity on roads and save lives.
“The State Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Taskforce) will keep enhancing the enforcement of the Lagos Traffic Law 2018 with which it has been checking the excesses of commercial motorcyclists and others who drive against oncoming traffic and ply restricted routes. The action is to halt the resurgence of impunity and violation of traffic regulations.
“Amid the enforcement, which began on Tuesday, commercial motorcyclists have taken laws into their hands and attacked the Task Force team, injuring officers carrying out their lawful duties. The perpetrators of this violence will be identified and made to face the law.
“However, the officers were undeterred by the criminal activities of the motorcyclists; 131 motorcycles were seized; 15 riders arrested and prosecuted; and 150 vehicles impounded in various areas of the State,” he said.
Omotoso said the “Task Force subsequently arraigned and prosecuted 35 drivers of impounded vehicles, who had to forfeit their cars to the State for driving against oncoming traffic; 62 drivers who plied the BRT Corridor were fined N70,000 each; and 28 tricycle owners were also arraigned in court.”
He added that the Task Force was again attacked in Ikeja, on Wednesday, but that it retreated to avoid an escalation of the crisis, adding that the team, however, mobilised more personnel to quell the riots started by the riders.
“Traffic enforcement agencies will continue to assert their authority. They have been directed to arraign and prosecute all violators to ensure that penalties are apportioned in consonance with the law.
“For the avoidance of doubt, commercial motorcycles and tricycles remain restricted from operating in six Local Governments and nine Local Council Development Areas – Apapa LG; Lagos Mainland LG; Surulere LG; Ikeja LG; Eti-Osa LG; Lagos Island LG; Onigbongbo LCDA; Ojodu LCDA; Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA; Iru-Victoria Island LCDA; Lagos Island East LCDA; Apapa Iganmu LCDA; Yaba LCDA; Itire-Ikate LCDA; and Coker-Aguda LCDA.
“The Lagos State Government will continue to dialogue with stakeholders in the transportation sector – NURTW, RTEAN, ANACOWA, TOOAN, TODAL and MOALS – to restore sanity on Lagos roads and halt the disregard for the Lagos Traffic Law (2018),” he stated.