Rufai Oseni: Lagos state Road usage Laws you should know
The law is not a respecter of anybody, despite your social status or popularity. It was a welcomed development that a popular Arise news analyst was charged to court for breaking the Lagos law on road usage and appropriate punishment was duly melted on him.
Mr. Rufai Oseni, a popular face on Nigerian tv was on the news on Monday for having a heated dance-off with some police officers and other traffic officers of Lagos state authority. He was double-crossed and his car seized for having driven on a BRT lane. BRT lane is a special lane on roads in Lagos state reserved specifically for BRT buses and other motorists are totally prohibited from using that lane despite the excuse or circumstances whatsoever.
The Lagos state transport (sector reform) law of 2018 is the extant law that prohibits motorists from driving on the BRT lane and it provides for the punishment of impounding the offender’s vehicle and a fine of N70,000 is to be paid by the offender before the vehicle will be released back to him. In some cases, the driver could be detained alongside the vehicle.
Mr. Rufai Oseni was charged to court for this offense and he was found guilty of contravening Lagos State Transport Law (2018) and was thereby fined Seventy Thousand Naira.
Ignorance of the existence of these laws is not an excuse to prevent you from being prosecuted if you are found wanting. There are numerous traffic and road usage laws in Lagos state which were made with the intent of bringing some decorum to Lagos roads and minimizing the traffic gridlock to some greater extent. Some of these laws that readers, especially Lagos state residents should take to heart include;
Driving without a roadworthiness certificate is an offense and the punishment is Impounding the vehicle.
Driving Kabu Kabu without a permit is an offense and the punishment is Impounding the vehicle.
The act of Disobeying a LASTMA Officer (despite the reason or excuse) is an offense and it attracts a fine of N30,000, in some cases, the vehicle may be Impounded and the offender detained.
Neglecting traffic direction light is a strict offense that carries the punishment of 3 months jail term.
Smoking, drinking, or eating while driving is an offense with the punishment of N30,000 fine.
Physically assaulting a traffic officer/warden is a serious offense that carries both a fine of N50,000 and 6 months jail term and compensation to the assaulted officer.
Driving without full light attracts a fine of N50,000.
Driving with a worn-out tire or without a spare tire attracts a fine of N30,000.
Driving without a fire extinguisher attracts a fine of N30,000.
Driving One way attracts a 3 years jail term.
Driving without a fastened seat belt attracts a fine of N30,000.
Driving on a pedestrian walkway attracts a fine and Impoundment of the vehicle.
Reversing or making a U-turn on the highway & parking on walkways attracts a fine of N50,000.
Obstruction of free flow of traffic attracts a fine of N20,000.
While Picking/Dropping passengers at illegal Bus stops attracts a fine of N50,000.
These are some of the salient road usage violations and their punishments that motorists based in Lagos state or visiting Lagos state should take to heart.
It is important to state that this law is peculiar to Lagos state alone as other states have their different road usage laws governing their individual states.
A police officer or any other officer of authority can arrest and detain anybody found violating any of these laws without a warrant. The law has given officers the power to go ahead and arrest, detain, and impound the vehicles of offenders without warrants.
Stanley Alieke is a lawyer based in Abuja.
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