We have powers to make arrest, says LASTMA boss
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) yesterday reiterated its powers under the relevant provisions of the Lagos State Traffic Laws of 2012 (as amended) to impound any vehicle and apprehend recalcitrant motorists who contravene any section of the law.
Speaking while receiving the executives of Humanitarian Voluntary Association for Community Development, who came to express solidarity and sympathy over the death of 18 traffic officials of the agency that died in the line of duty in 2018, LASTMA’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Olakpe, said contrary to misinformation in some sections of the media, the agency was fully empowered by law to make arrest where and when necessary.
Olakpe, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), said the traffic laws of the state equipped officials of the agency with powers to arrest where appropriate and allow the alleged offender to pay the fine stipulated for the offence under the law.
In addition, the LASTMA boss said the law allows for penalties for neglect of traffic directions, while disobeying traffic control personnel also attracts fines and impounding of vehicles.He said from the findings of the agency, many of the gridlocks are due to the unusual driving behaviour of some motorists, saying it was important for the public to always cooperate with traffic officers while on the road.
He added that instead of taking laws into their hands, motorists should feel free to take advantage of the open-door policy of LASTMA by reporting any erring officer.
“Just from January 2019 till date, over 30 traffic officials have been brutalized by ill-tempered motorists and as an Agency, we owe it to our officials and their families the responsibility of ensuring their security and safety while performing their duties,” Olakpe said.
Responding on behalf of the organization, its president, Bankole Odunuga, acknowledged the sacrifice and courage being displayed by the traffic officials in spite of intimidation by motorists, disobedience of traffic laws, assaults, injuries and deaths suffered in the line of duty.
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