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New Lagos traffic offences that may land you in prison
| February 08, 2016

Under the Lagos traffic Law of 2012, the Lagos state government last Friday,the 5th of February, introduced Mobile Court buses for road traffic offenders, in order to mete immediate punishment on offenders where applicable. With a solemn promise to end impunity on the roads, the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade‎ and the State’s Attorney General, Kazeem Adeniji, restated their commitments to ridding Lagos of recklessness and impunity on the roads at the inauguration.

Violators/offenders can either be imprisoned for some number of months (1 to 3 years as the case may be), fined (between N20,000 to N50,000) or both depending on the gravity of the case.

Here are the traffic offences that can get an offender imprisoned:

Driving an unlicensed vehicle:

As a driver of any car, truck, van, bus, trailer or motorcycle, get your automobile licensed from Lagos state licensing office because with this law, your vehicle must display a proper and current proof of licensing from Lagos State Government Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA). As earlier stated, disobeying this traffic law definitely attracts a penalty which could be imprisonment.

Driving with a fake number plate:

The license plates are generally white and the number itself is imprinted in blue. In the upper left-hand corner they carry the Flag of Nigeria or the national coat of arms. The state name and slogan is displayed at the top centre of the plate, and the "Federal Republic of Nigeria" is written at the bottom.

The unique plate combination itself is in the format ABC-123DE. The first three letters indicate the Local Government Area in which the vehicle was registered, which are followed by three digits and two letters. The background consists of an outline of a map of Nigeria. Before 2011, the three letters indicating the Local Government Area were at the end, in the format AB123-CDE.

Other types of license plates are also in use. Commercial vehicles are written in red rather than blue, and government plates are in green. Diplomatic plates have a red background with white lettering, and consist of up to three numbers, followed by CD or CMD and another number. Instead of the name of the state, they read CORPS DIPLOMATIQUE. Cars of the consular corps have instead the letters CC or CORPS CONSULAIRE.

With this basic information of the current registration plate of Lagos, be careful not to obtain a fake number plate in order to avoid being fined or jailed.

Driving a vehicle with an unauthorized or defective number plate:

A lot of people have argued about the new plate number been a fraud or a necessity. The real deal is, we now have a new plate number as described above and the law demands motorists’ compliance. Having an unauthorized or defective plate number and driving with it is moving in an opposite direction to the Lagos state traffic laws, hence a penalty is attached. You do not want to be an offender, do you?

Driving with a forged driver’s license:

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the commission responsible for the issuance of drivers’ license to motorists, has warned the public of fake driver’s license produced by some hoodlums. It has been discovered that some people pay for and get this forged/fake drivers’ license. This act is illegal. Thus, FRSC has set up new procedures for obtaining new driver’s license or renewing an existing one. Do not be caught with a fake license. The steps have been somewhat simplified using a database driven website. Be wiser than those hoodlums.

Neglect of traffic directions:

One common traffic direction that is usually neglected by motorist in Lagos is the one-way traffic. These signs should never be neglected as they help control traffic and reduce accidents on the road. There are several  traffic signs, some are the right-and left-hand traffic signs, the zebra crossing signs, crossing the high-way instead of using the pedestrian bridge provided, the traffic light and more that must never be ignored. Well, there is a renewed pledge to stop traffic indiscipline, if you must drive, understand and always comply to traffic signs and direction.

Driving motorcycle without approved crash helmet by driver and passenger:

Recently, a lot of motorcyclist, popularly known as “okada”, ride with their crash helmet on their heads and that of their passengers. Yes, in this part of the country, motorcyclist tend to forget safety while hustling for the money, but to reduce death rate from “okada”, the Lagos state government has enacted a law that every “okada” and their passengers must wear a protective headgear, not just any but an approved one with qualities that makes it appropriate for the head, well -fitting and safe enough to protect the brain.

Operating vehicle within restricted routes or beyond official hours:

Motorcycles and Tricycles are prohibited from riding on major Highways in the state. The Highways are Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Oworonshoki – Ikorodu, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and Babangida Boulevard Way. Others are Lekki-Epe Expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue, Agege Motor Road and Eti-Osa-Lekki coastal road.

The law also restricts trailers and articulated vehicles from plying the metropolis between 6 a.m and 9 p.m and only petrol tankers and long vehicles used in conveying passengers were allowed to travel within the metropolis between the stipulated time. It said that vehicles with more than one rear axle or six tyres were hereby restricted between 6 a.m and 9 p.m, with the exemption of some vehicles in accordance with sections 2 and 38 of the Road Traffic Law 2012. “These exemptions are tour buses or passenger buses, fire service trucks, rescue and recovery trucks, patrol trucks, perishable farm products trucks, refuse collection trucks, cement mixer trucks, tractors and refrigerated trucks.

Further traffic laws are:

Parking at undesignated parking places(very common but very wrong), commercial vehicles on motion with their doors open, noise pollution, street trading and more.

Hopefully, no one will get jailed, yes only if, no one breaks the law.






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