29th July, 2011
The Lagos State Government has introduced a new device, Auto Inspector, to help in verification of vehicle licences and permits in the state.
The new device is under the auspice of the Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, MVAA, and is the first in Nigeria.
The hand-held Auto-Inspector would determine the status of a vehicle documents by remotely downloading information about the vehicle from a central server once its registration number is fed into it by law enforcement officers.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting on the device on Wednesday, the Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, expressed optimism that the remote device for verification of vehicle licences and permits in the state would help reduce traffic problems experienced in most roads in the state.
He said that with the new device, errant drivers could, easily, be fished out on the road without causing serious traffic jam while stolen vehicles can be tracked down few hours after theft.
Opeifa, who addressed a gathering of Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), the Nigeria Police as well as other stakeholders at the first summit by the MVAA to brainstorm on the efficacy of the new device, said the device was an innovation.
â€œWhen someone misbehaves on the road, you should be able to pick the number and call the police on their hotlines and with the way the police are structured in Lagos now, I donâ€™t think you would go one kilometre without seeing a policeman in a vehicle who would be ready to attend to you. Thatâ€™s the same model we have in Chicago,â€ he stated.
â€œAt least we can be sure that when you have a drivers licence, if you commit crime, your vehicle number will now be attached to your person and when this is done, the police does not need to do much to pin you down. They would just punch in your number and they would tell us who owns the vehicle, so the Data Base will be centred somewhere and will be available to the Police, VIO, LASTMA, MVAA and the public for enquiries. This is the way we are goingâ€.
â€œPeople who think that LASTMA will not pursue them when they commit crime because of the nature of our streets, the auto inspector will address this, they donâ€™t need to pursue you, theyâ€™ll just pick your number and we will know the name of the owner of the vehicle, because your driversâ€™ licence and number plate will be attached to your vehicle. So we are assuring the public that when a vehicle is stolen, and you inform the police, all these officers will get alerts and immediately they will start chasing it. So this is one product I believe we should all scrutinize and see the faults and address them before it becomes a problem.â€
The Permanent Secretary, MVAA, Mr. Akin Hanson, described the device as first of its type in Nigeria, adding that this would officially be unveiled in August by the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola.
He said the device would facilitate easy checking of vehicle papers without disrupting free flow of traffic as only the violators of vehicle documents regulations will be stopped and booked.
Hanson also warned new station managers and client service representatives for the Motor Vehicle Administration Agency to shun misconducts or go to jail, reminding them that their engagement was to fight touting and illegal activities in the processing of vehicle documents in the state.
He added that a monitoring team has been put in place, adding anyone caught will be handed over to appropriate authorities for prosecution.