Traffic-free Lagos not a tall order
Sir: Due to its large population density, Lagos is not expected to be exempted from one of the main traffic challenges associated with a mega-metropolitan city.
Every densely populated city continuously deploys possible means available to combat traffic congestion, which is peculiar to road transportation, is the most common means of travelling. While a huge population is not the only reason Lagosians encounter traffic congestion, other reasons may be due to factors that are self-inflicted.
Speaking through LASTMA’s Director of Operations, Mr. Peter Gbejemede, the General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Bolaji Oreagba, said the rebranding of LASTMA was necessary for a better service to humanity. The GM said: “Traffic control is an outdoor occupation, night or day for long hours in all weathers, and is considered a dangerous occupation due to the high risk of being hit by passing vehicles.
This season of partying, let individuals or families who are in the habit of closing down streets and inner roads which serve as alternatives for drivers thereby preventing traffic flows should desist from doing so. They erect canopies and throw parties in open spaces without putting into consideration the convenience of other road users. They say, after all, no one owns the road, so they are at liberty to use it anyway they like. If you hold such a view, be warned that you are infringing on the rights of other road users and as such you are violating the traffic law of obstruction. Car owners who park indiscriminately on busy inner roads, all in the name of holding ceremonies, social gatherings or parties, must tread with caution to avoid complicating the traffic situation in Lagos. Merely sighting fleets of cars parked on both sides of a street is enough to tell that the adjoining roads around there are blocked or bottlenecked.
It is also important to state that the crime rate is likely to reduce if the roads are free of traffic. Traffic robbers will have no work to do if all roads are free with vehicles moving to and fro barring any breakdown or impediment occasioned by a mechanical fault.
As we move Lagos forward, the responsibility of returning and sustaining sanity on our roads is not only in the hands of our traffic managers and controllers but in the hands of every road user. No matter what is being done to tackle traffic congestion, if motorists do not obey traffic laws, there would be no headway. Whether traffic is controlled manually (through LASTMA personnel) or mechanically at signalised junctions via traffic lights, if every road user chooses to disobey traffic laws, then we all may be heading for a state of disorderliness, unruliness and indiscipline. The onus of ensuring free flow of traffic is on every Lagosian; we sanitise our society when we obey traffic laws.
Kayode Ojewale is of the Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA.