2nd September, 2012
There will be no immunity for any LAGBUS driver that flouts the new Lagos traffic law, says the executive director of the bus service, Mr Yemi Odubela.
Odubela told a two-day workshop for drivers in Lagos on Saturday that any of them that intended going against the new Lagos State traffic law, just because he was driving a vehicle under the LAGBUS franchise, would regret his actions.
“Nobody is above the law; that you work with LAGBUS does not give you the privilege to disobey the law of the state.
“The reason we have organised this training is to educate you on what you should know, because ignorance of the law is not an excuse,” he said.
He said that any of the state government drivers that owned a motorcycle, either for commercial use or private use, should have a riders’ card because the drivers’ licence or LAGBUS letter was not acceptable for riding a bike.
“If you have an okada , your drivers licence does not cover you, except you have a riders’ card,” Odubela emphasised, and advised the drivers to lead the way by avoiding reckless driving and obeying all traffic laws.
“Anyone caught in the act of violating the law and his bus is impounded and the person arrested, will be made to face the law, while we find a way to secure the release of our bus.
“We should be a model to assist the Government to achieve its aim of making Lagos State a megacity,” Odubela urged the drivers.
Mrs Margaret Adewale, Director, Legal Services, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), reminded the bus drivers, also known as ‘captains’, that the law that they and their assistants should always be properly kitted and in their uniforms when on the road.
“Driving without uniforms, driving without using the dedicated lanes, as well as reckless driving, attracts a fine of N20,000.
“Failure to provide your identity card or presenting a fake identity on arrest, attracts being charged to court,” Adewale said.
According to her, receiving or making phone calls while driving attracts a fine of N20,000 for a first timer, while a second timer will be fined N50,000.
“The government is not interested in the money but rather, in bringing sanity to our roads, and if this is achieved overtime, the law can be amended,” she said.
Mr Babatunde Disu, Managing Director of LAGBUS Asset Management Ltd.– operators of the LAGBUS fleet– told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the traffic law was a welcome idea as it was meant to bring sanity and responsibility to transport operations in the state
“Our captains (drivers) are an important part of LAGBUS and we do not want them to have problems with the new state traffic law.
“We appeal to them to obey the law to stay out of trouble for no one is above the law, not even me. We are supposed to be role model for others to emulate, for we are corporate transport operator,” Disu said.
Two bus ‘captains’, Mr Bola Famutimi and Mr Ajayi Olasunkanmi told NAN that they appreciated the training programme because they initially thought that the new traffic law was not for them.
“Now that I know I am no longer under LAGBUS immunity as a driver of a government owned bus, l have to pray never to flout the law for l can no longer claim ignorance of the law,” Famutimi said,
The training programme with the theme “:LAGBUS training and Awareness Campaign Programme for bus Captains on the new traffic law”, had two sessions daily for LAGBUS captains and bus franchise captains.