107 die in motorcycle accidents


Kazeem Ugbodaga  

 At least, 107 people have been killed and 512 others injured in okada accidents in the last two years in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, says reports from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.

LASTMA  reports obtained from the Research Department of LASTMA also revealed that of those who died in the two years, 71 were male while 36 were female.         

   According to the report, between January 2011 and October 2012, 442 commercial motorcycles were involved in accidents across the State, out of which 271 occurred in 2011 while 171 occurred this year across the State.   The report also disclosed that in 2011 alone, 47 were killed and 98 others sustained serious injuries while from January 2012 to date, 63 people have been killed while 59 others sustained serious injuries.

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Reports from the Lagos State Police Command revealed that 22 out of 30 armed robbery incidents between July and September this year were carried out by the use of okada.The report shows that of eight robberies incidents that occurred in July, seven involved the use of okada while okada was also used in 10 out of 14 robberies in September and five out of eight robberies in August.         

   It disclosed that 513 fatal accidents recorded in the State in the last two years were caused by okada operators, adding that out of this number, 305 happened between January and December 2011 while 208 of the fatal accidents happened between January and June this year.          

  The Lagos State Government on 2 August, 2012 promulgated the Lagos Road Traffic Law part of which, among others provisions, restricted operators of commercial motorcycles to certain areas in the metropolis.            

On why it banned okada operation from 475 roads in metropolis, Governor Babatunde Fashola said, “several people have lost their lives, limbs, arms or become maimed for life through the reckless activities of the okada operators,” adding that what the law had prescribed was that Okada could no longer ply the major highways like the Lagos Badagry Expressway, Third Mainland Bridge, Ozumba Mbadiwe Road and other selected roads and bridges in the State. 

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