Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State said that the state’s experience and success with Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) was a sign that the state police would also succeed.
He said this while speaking at the 6th Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Annual Lecture in Abuja with the theme “State Road Traffic Management Efforts: the LASTMA’s Experience.”
Gov. Ambode also said that LASTMA was established as a traffic management agency in the state with the aim to curb traffic issues and carry out the required enforcement responsibilities, and so far the agency has been giving excellent delivery on their job. Aside that, they have also gone the extra mile to handle reckless drivers and traffic offenders, punishing them for their misconduct.
According to Ambode, who was respresented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, he said in the last government of Lagos state’s traffic management, an estimated loss of N42 billion worth of man-hour was recorded on annual basis as a result of chaotic traffic situations. He also said this was as a result of traffic congestion, hectic gridlock or hazardous situations exerting enormous pressure on available roads networks.
“With the establishment of LASTMA came the exertion of traffic control, monitoring and enforcement of traffic rules and regulations, traffic-related public education and enlightenment and conduct of research and statistics on roads.
“Road furnishing, installation and maintenance; education of drivers, motorist and the general public on proper use of the highways and control and management of traffic operations state-wide was introduced among others.
“Our LASTMA experience in Lagos has demonstrated one thing, the need to extend it to the creation of State Police
“What Lagos State has demonstrated with LASTMA is that we should have no fear if the police is locally domesticated. We will only promote efficient enforcement machinery.”
Gov. Ambode called on other states to leverage the Lagos LASTMA experience for sustainable road safety development across the country. However, they should do so without prejudice. He added that from the experience of LASTMA, the law enforcement aspect of road traffic management had become more compelling, demanding and even more delicate.
He said traffic management agencies and personnel should recognise the uniqueness of the challenge they were confronted with and the need to collaborate with relevant agencies to ensure success in their activities.
According to the governor, road transport is inevitable and cannot be replaced, however, it must be effectively managed and traffic rules should not be abused as it saves lives when strictly adhered to.
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