If you are familiar with the current affairs of Lagos State, then you would have realized that the Sanwo-Olu-led administration has placed a central focus on transportation and road rehabilitation.
Part of this situation means allocating more power and responsibilities to the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) – an event that can be equally good and bad. Good, because it is the desire of every Lagos State resident to enjoy a traffic-light Lagos and better and safer roads. Bad, because power can easily be abused and corrupt LASTMA officers will seize the opportunity to extort and inflict pain on motorists.
While the efforts of the current Lagos Government remains commendable, residents have also pleaded with the government to set up an approach that will ensure only defaulters are punished and innocent citizens are not deceptively lured into offence traps by LASTMA officers as a way to extort them.
With the amended fines and punishment for Lagos State traffic offences (some with fines of up to N200,000 or total forfeiture of vehicles), every motorist in Lagos has every reason to be afraid.
Here is the updated 2020 list of traffic and parking offences and their fines:
|1||Driving against one-way traffic||N200,000|
|2||Parking on the highway||N50,000|
|3||Obstruction of traffic||N50,000|
|4||Picking or dropping passengers on illegal bus-stop||N50,000|
|5||Making a reverse on the highway||N50,000|
|6||Driving on kerbs (the raised edge of pavement beside the road)||N50,000|
|7||Parking on walkways||N50,000|
|8||Driving on BRT designated lanes||N70,000|
|9||Dropping a passenger on laybys (emergency parking areas)||N90,000|
|10||Driving without a seat belt||N20,000|
|11||Leaving your door open while in motion||N20,000|
|12||Standing on the doorway while in motion||N20,000|
Every night a seized vehicle spends in the custody of LASTMA, a N1,000 fine is paid. This used to be N500, some years back.
Going to court for a traffic offence in Lagos
One would think opting to be taken to court will be a better alternative than paying these hefty fines – bad news – it is not. If you attend the mobile court in Oshodi and plead guilty for a traffic offence, these fines will still apply in your sentence.
If you plead not guilty, you will still be required to pay a court bond of between N100,000 to N150,000 while the case remains on trial. With the bond paid, the offender’s vehicle is released but you must keep appearing in court until the case is closed.
How to avoid committing a traffic offence in Lagos
a. Ensure to always do the right thing.
b. Do not park on the road, especially when you don’t see other cars parked there. There might not be a “No Parking” sign, so be very cautious.
You should know that LASTMA actually wants you to commit an offence so that you will get fined. So avoid giving them that privilege as much as you can.
c. Do not drive through a one-way route – no matter the temptation.
d. Obey all traffic rules when driving in Lagos and ensure all your papers are complete and recent.