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Fact Check: LASTMA can arrest traffic offenders, Responsibilities and duties of LASTMA by Lagos govt

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Claim: A viral message with the title ‘DON’T ARREST ANY MOTORIST, SANWO-OLU WARNS LASTMA’ – has been trending on many platforms, especially Whatsapp.

Verdict: Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu did not warn the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) not to arrest motorists. He only ‘advised’ the officials to be civil in their interaction with the residents.

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The viral message resurfacing in 2022 is fake.

The Lagos State Government has denied a report on social media that it has ordered the officials of the state’s traffic management agency to stop arresting and enforcing traffic laws. The state government stated that the agency would continue to carry out its duties and ensure that the free flow of traffic is maintained.

According to a statement by Gbenga Omotoso, the commissioner for information and strategy in Lagos State, the fake news about the alleged attack on the officials of the state’s transportation agency, LASTMA, was designed to scare motorists.

The state government said it was not contemplating the withdrawal of the power to enforce traffic law against erring motorists from LASTMA.

The statement read, “The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will continue to discharge its duty of ensuring the free flow of traffic and enforcing the laws against violators of road traffic regulations.

“The motoring public is, therefore, advised to ignore the fake news trending on some social media platforms that the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has warned LASTMA officials not to arrest any motorist.

“The statement purported to have emanated from Mr Governor reads: ‘Henceforth, no LASTMA Official should arrest any motorist, either commercial or private. The duty of LASTMA is to manage traffic and not to arrest anyone. I have heard a lot of complaints, any official that violates the rule will be severely dealt with,’ which is untrue and a mere fabrication.

“This fake news which has been debunked severally before it resurfaced on social media platforms, was ostensibly designed to pitch the public, especially motorists, against officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the State Government is not contemplating the withdrawal of the power to enforce traffic law against erring motorists, as it believed that public education and enlightenment should be complemented by the enforcement of rules and regulations to ensure sanity on our roads.”

What are the functions of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA)?

Lagos State Traffic Management Authority is a Lagos State-owned agency under the Ministry of Transportation.

The agency was established on the 15th of July, 2000 to transform the state transport system to ensure the free flow of traffic in the state and also reduce road accidents.

Here are the responsibilities and duties of LASTMA;

  • Control, management and regulation of traffic-related matters within the Lagos metropolis
  • Public education and enlightenment of drivers and motorists on the proper use of the highways
  • Traffic safety and accident management
  • Conduct research on drivers’ behaviours and traffic safety
  • Install and maintain traffic control devices on the highway so
  • Relate with other traffic management agencies
  • To develop a culture of regulation, control, and management of traffic operations statewide;
  •  To ensure hitch-free traffic flow on Lagos road;
  • To develop the most efficient and effective means of bringing about safety improvement
  • Co-operate with bodies agencies or groups engaged in road safety activities or in the prevention of accidents on the highways;
  • Determine works and devices designed to improve traffic flow and advise the appropriate road works offices on the locations where such works and devices are required;
  • Identify, develop, promote and maintain new or alternative methods of traffic management and road safety

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