Concerns over ‘never-die-habit’ of hanging on buses
Amid dangers associated with ‘hanging on buses’ along the major highways, Lagos officials have cautioned those engaging in the practice to put a stop to it, as traffic law prohibiting the act is still in force.
Hanging on buses has become a daily practice in Lagos.
Within the last five days, over 50 persons were spotted hanging onto the back of commercial vehicles also called Danfo. Tricycles and 22-seater buses, known as LT in Ikotun-Igando roads are also a means for those who are used to the culture.
Hanging on the back of buses in motion remains a practice many adults in Lagos also grew up with.
A driver who plies the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Yemi Falade, noted that he despised the habit adding that he always warns passengers to desist from it.
“When I use my side mirror and see anybody in the back, I look for a place to park and ask the person to come down. Most of them think I am a bad person but it is not my fault. The task force or LASTMA will arrest me. Most times, it is not the fault of those who engage in such acts, it is the system. There are no jobs and people do not have anything to eat. How do they pay for transportation,” he said.
Another driver, Mr. Rasheed, noted that LT buses need those who hang on buses to watch out for on-coming vehicles at their blind spot.
He said: “not in all cases will side mirror capture vehicles, some of the conductors stop and control traffic for us to enter different lanes. They are not small boys. We cannot stop them from doing their job. They are the ones that will settle the agbero and policemen on the road. They will also call passengers.”
A driver who plies the Oshodi-Mushin route, Saheed Ogunrinde, said: “Most of the time, it is not conductors that hang on the back of the buses, but those who cannot afford to pay transport fare.
“They never come to us before hanging, and we only see them through the mirror. Anytime I see such an individual, I always park and chase such person from the back of my bus.”
Another driver by the name Baba Igbo who plies the Oshodi-Mile 2 road, said: “Personally, I don’t tolerate hanging on the back of my bus. I don’t want to pay fine to LASMA or answer questions when a person falls off the bus.”
Speaking on the development, the Director, Public Affairs, the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offenses (Enforcement Unit) Taskforce, Abdulraheem Gbadeyan, said the agency is determined to curb the menace on Lagos road.
He said plans are underway to partner with traffic agencies and arrest offenders.
He said: “it is a traffic offence to hang on buses and enforcement is an ongoing process. We will continue to affect the arrest of offenders. Sometimes when we want to arrest offenders, they run and sometimes they jump down without caution. There are times we take the plate numbers of such vehicles. We have made several arrests in the past. What we will do this year is a joint operation between LASTMA and other security agencies.”
“Some of these boys do not know that jumping down from moving vehicles is suicidal. When we are chasing the bus they will jump down while the bus is in motion and risk breaking their head and bones. We are being careful so that we won’t cause havoc. We have a very tactical way of arresting offenders.”
He further warned that skating on the highway is also prohibited adding that many offenders along an axis such as Iyana-Ipaja and Oshodi would be arrested.
He also revealed that the public advice department of the agency would be out after school hours to arrest students flouting the order.
“Any student found on the back of a bus would be arrested. We will take the photograph and if we are able to identify the school, we will swing into action. We plan on carrying out school advocacy. The public Advice department will be all out, especially closing hours. We will liaise with school principals to fish out culpable students,” he said.