Friday, 24 August 2012


Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa has urged operators, riders and passengers of motorcycles popularly known as “Okada” to comply voluntarily with the provisions in the recently signed Road Traffic Law of Lagos State.

 Opeifa, made this known at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Transport, Alausa, during another stakeholders’ meeting with the transport unions and operators of the informal public transport in the State. He said that in spite of the signing of the new law by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, and the massive enlightenment campaign embarked upon by the Government, it was disturbing that OKADA and motorcycles below 200cc still ply the restricted routes, including bridges and highways with impunity.

 He said that many innocent lives that could contribute meaningfully to the development of the State, and the Nation had been wasted as a result of accidents by motorcycles. He added that many children had become orphans, many wives had become widows while many husbands had also become widowers. While traffic congestion and delays continued to be compounded by the menace of Okada riders.
The Commissioner said that it was necessary for the operators, riders and passengers of motorcycles to voluntarily comply with the law as both riders and passengers could be culpable if found to have contravened the law.

 According to him, section 3 (6) of the law stipulates that where a rider is convicted for riding or driving on restricted routes, not wearing a standard protective crash helmet or carrying more than one passenger, carrying a pregnant woman, a child below the age of 12 years or an adult with a baby or heavy/large load placed on the head or acts which obstruct normal sitting on the motorcycle, the passenger shall also be liable to the same penalty.
Opeifa called on all motorcycle and tricycle operators to withdraw from plying the restricted routes as anyone found violating the law will be appropriately sanctioned.
The Commissioner, however, advised all unrecognized motorcycle associations in the State to affiliate with either the Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State (MOALS) under the control of the National Union of Road Transport Workers Association (NURTW) or ANACOWA Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) as both MOALS of NURTW and ANACOWA of RTEAN are the only recognized motorcycle associations in the state.

 While assuring Lagosians of the State Government commitment to the safety of lives and property, Opeifa reiterated that the law was made in the interest of all, and it is aimed at reducing carnages on the roads. He added that of the 9, 100 roads in the State, only 475 roads were restricted after extensive consultations.
Some of the restricted routes for motorcycle and tricycle operations in the state include all the bridges, highways and dual carriage ways among others. Some of these include the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Apapa – Oshodi Expressway, Oworonshoki – Oshodi Expressway, Lagos – Ikorodu Expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue, Lagos – Abeokuta Expressway, Third Mainland Bridge, Eti – Osa Lekki Expressway, Lagos – Badagry Expressway, Agege Motor Road, Alfred Rewane Road, Ahmadu Bello Way and Agege Motor Road among others.

Transport Unions and organized public transport operators in attendance include the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), City Bus Ltd, Cross country Ltd, Iseoluwa transport cooperative, BAMD Ltd; Cantonment Bus Co-operatives Shuttle, T & M Cooperatives, TW-NURTW cooperatives, Motorcycle Operators of Lagos State (MOALS) and ANACOWA Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association just to mention but few.

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