Authorities of the Iponri Police Station on the Lagos Mainland have continued their illegal parking of seized articulated trucks at the Iponri Bus Stop, in spite of persistent outcries of motorists and road users.
Four months ago, other agencies, including the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) swiftly removed trucks impounded by them and left on the road to block traffic at the Iponri area.
Authorities at the Iponri Police Station have, however, remained adamant, leaving impounded trucks at the bus stop and causing nightmares for motorists on the Costain-Iponri axis of the busy Funsho Williams highway.
The Divisional Police Officer of the Iponri Police Station, whose name was given simply as Mr Ogunlaja was furious when correspondents of the Nigeria News Agency took him up on why the impounded trucks were being left at the bus stop after the seizure of the trucks by the police.
“You’re asking me why the trailers are being parked here. Is it your job to be looking into this kind of matter,’’ the visibly angry Ogunlaja asked, when he was told that it was wrong to leave the trucks on the highway.
Many months after, the illegal parking of the trucks at the bus stop has continued from day to day, checks by NAN correspondents showed.
But the spokesman of the Lagos State Police Command, Mr Bala Elkanah, has promised that he would get in touch with the authorities at the Iponri Police Command, to prevail on them to desist from parking the impounded trucks on the highway.
He said that the command had earlier warned police commands to desist from parking impounded vehicles at wrong places, especially on highways in the Lagos metropolis.
NAN reports that the entire bus stop and some sections of the road have been taken over by impounded trucks, causing serious problems for motorists plying on the road.
It was learnt that some of the trucks were impounded for minor traffic offences, only for the law enforcement agencies to use the seized vehicles to also commit bigger traffic offences.
The leaving of the seized trucks on the roads has choked the Costain area, where construction work is currently going on, causing traffic bottlenecks in the Iganmu area.
Some motorists plying the area, who spoke to NAN on the illegal parking of the seized trucks, complained that the development had betrayed the smart city dream of the Lagos State Government.
“We live in a state where anything goes and law enforcement agents just do things anyhow. How on earth can impounded trucks be parked at bus stops and on bridges?,’’ cleric Dada Williams asked.
“Most of the trucks you see here have been here for months and no one is talking. Does it mean those that should call people to order are not aware or they just decided to keep quiet.
“Any driver that wants to park at Iponri Bus Stop now cannot do so because it is already taken over by impounded trucks. Commercial drivers now drop and pick passengers on the middle of the road, thereby increasing gridlock.
“Why are our law-enforcement agents so lawless and yet so mean on people breaking the law?’’
Another motorist, who identified himself simply as Mr Patrick, also decried the parking of seized trucks at the Iponri Bus Stop.
He described the abandoned trucks at Iponri Bus Stop as an eye-sore, appealing to the State Government to do the needful with the year coming to an end.
A businessman, Mr Kayode Ojo, who plies the Costain-Iganmu road corridor regularly, told NAN that there was need to remove impounded vehicles from the area to ease traffic.
An auditor, Mr Ayobami Adesina, commended traffic management officers for their efforts to ease traffic on Lagos roads but wondered why they would be allowing seized trucks to be left on the roads, instead of the premises of the agencies that seized the vehicles.
Adesina argued that instead of dropping impounded vehicles at bus stops, such vehicles should be taken to places to be designated by the authorities.
LASTMA has not been able to remove scores of articulated vehicles dumped at the Iponri Bus Stop, many years after the vehicles were impounded by the agency.
Edited by: Silas Nwoha
Assembly to make road markings mandatory on Lagos highways
The Lagos State House of Assembly has made provisions for compulsory lane markings, traffic laws signals on highways in the ongoing amendment of the Lagos Traffic Law and Regulations.
The Chairman, House Committee on Transportation, Mr Temitope Adewale (Ifako-Ijaiye I), made this known during an oversight tour of the Lagos Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) on Friday.
Adewale said there would be appropriate sanctions for violators of traffic lane marking on the highway, adding that the signs and markings on the highway would further reduce the gridlock experienced by motorists.
“In the new amendment of the Traffic Law before the House, under Section 28 of the bill, we have made provisions for compulsory lane marking, traffic light signals and registering of signs.
“This is to further enhance the LASTMA jobs and the House of Assembly will continue to support the agency,” he said.
Adewale said the assembly had received hundreds of petitions from the public on the excessiveness of LASTMA officials, adding that it was also aware of unruly private and commercial drivers in the state.
He said: “With the population of over 22 million people, we only have 4239 LASTMA officers, therefore, there is a need for more traffic officers on our roads.
“There is a need for improved welfare and there is a need for them to be equipped properly with traffic control infrastructure.
“We know that LASTMA job is the toughest because there is constant vehicular movement from one point to the another everyday within the metropolis and beyond
“However, it is the duty of the agency to ensure free flow of traffic within the state and we know this has been a difficult task to accomplish,” he said.
Adewale said he was impressed with the rate of enforcement by the agency, urging it to continue to improve on its enforcement exercise in order to have free flow of traffic across the major highways.
Earlier, General Manager, LASTMA, Mr Olajide Oduyoye, told the committee that the agency was facing numerous challenges such as inadequate provision of space for impounded vehicles.
Oduyoye said other challenges included non-availability of zonal office, change/refresh rooms for officers, non-availability of functional patrol vehicles and inadequate recovery vehicles.
He noted that the agency lacked signage that was required for speed limits and no parking on the highway.
The general manager expressed concern over the intrusion on the highway by on street parking and the improper planning approval given to filling stations an event centres.
He said that the agency had a total staff strength of 4239, three officers had been dismissed while 18 had died from active service.
The LASTMA boss said that 13,461 vehicles were involved in traffic violations between January and August this year.
“The agency also had a total of 14,697 road traffic law offences during the period under review.
“While the agency also recorded 1,756 road traffic crashes involving 2469 vehicles in the state.
“Out of which 1,047 accident involved private vehicles, while 1,416 are commercial vehicles, while four crashes involved government vehicles,” he said.
Oduyoye said that 2069 casualties were recorded from which 88 died; 60 were involved in fatal crashes; 1108 were serious crashes, while 594 were involved in minor crashes.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other agencies visited by the committee were the Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL), Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) and the Lagos State Number Plate Production Authority.
Other members of the committee are Mr Rasheed Makinde (Ifako Ijaye II), Mr Ganiyu Okanlawon (Kosofe I), Mr Lanre Afinni (Lagos Island II).
Edited By: Angela Okisor/Wale Ojetimi
Petrol tanker claims 1 life in Lagos, says LASEMA
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) said on Friday that one person died when a loaded 55,000-litre petrol tanker fell sideways at Mile 2, opposite the Nigerian Army Signal Barracks, Lagos.
LASEMA’s Director-General, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, who confirmed the accident in Lagos, added that the body of the yet-to-be identified female victim had been deposited at the mortuary by SEHMU officials.
Oke-Osanyintolu noted that the body of the victim was removed from where it was pinned to the vehicle’s dashboard, emanating from the impact of the tanker’s head.
He stated that the accident occurred when a tanker with registration number KSF 260 XY ran into a pothole in front of the Nigerian Army Signal Barracks at Mile 2.
The LASEMA chief noted that the content of the vehicle started drizzling, immediately the tanker fell sideways.
“Further investigation revealed that the driver and his assistant immediately fled the scene.
“An unidentified female adult, who was seated beside the tanker driver was trapped in the impact and lost her life.
“The agency’s Response Unit, fire fighters from the Lagos State Fire Service and the Nigerian Army were on standby, to arrest any potential secondary incident,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.
He, however, said that the fallen tanker had been recovered and handed over to LASTMA officials at the Mazamaza Division. .
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Peter Dada (NAN)
Fashola reviews Third Mainland Bridge traffic architecture
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday called for immediate expansion of diversion points on the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos, for free flow of traffic.
During inspection of the highway, Fashola also called for redeployment and re-assessment of manpower to effectively manage traffic and guide motorists on the highway.
The News Agency of Nigeria
reports that the bridge, which is the major access bridge into Lagos Island, was partially closed at midnight on Friday to enable repairs.
The closure will last for six months.
Fashola said during the inspection that there was the need for timely deployment of traffic management officers to areas of need, adding that they should be made liable for gridlock on the portions within their assigned jurisdiction.
The minister said that he got complaints on Monday night that the ramps were steep and angles of diversion were not wide enough.
He said that he urgently called for intervention to ease traffic.
He directed readjustments to make traffic better, urging traffic regulatory agencies to collaborate on the traffic changeover points.
Fashola expressed the hope that measures adopted so far would ease traffic and eliminate hardship during the rehabilitation of the bridge.
“I called last night to see what they can do to widen angles of diversion and I hope that brings some relief.
“We have to also look at the other ramp there (Ebute-Meta changeover), it is a little steep,’’ he said.
He also called for redistribution of traffic regulatory officers to bottleneck zones to reduce travel time.
“The men should space out and we should move more of them to the alternative routes. You (FRSC) and LASTMA, as collaboratively as you have done, move your men there so that as we are doing the changeover, it is to relieve where the alternative routes are.
“There is no traffic on the bridge, so we don’t need you on the bridge.
“This place (bridge) is being managed, so, we need them to help people get on and off,’’ he said.
He called on the state commissioner for transportation and heads of the traffic regulatory agencies to strategise
and find new ways to curb gridlock.
Fashola gave the assurance that Eko Bridge would soon be repaired to reduce pressure on the Third Mainland Bridge
The Director, Federal Highways, South West, Mr Adedamola Kuti, while briefing the minister, explained the realignments made to take more vehicles on the two major intersections on the Adekunle and Ebute-Meta switchover points on the bridge.
“We are going to work on this and expand it further, that is why we are breaking here (Adeniji Adele),’’ he said.
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, also explained the various priority time belts for motorists to use the bridge as well as how the alternative routes interlinked.
Popoola said repair works on the bridge were being carried out on 3.5km where the traffic were being diverted and later returned to the normal lane.
“When you called us yesterday, we came here to make observations and discovered it was wide enough to allow traffic to divert, the bottleneck was at Adeniji Adele.
“We increased the width, and as a result of that increase, the angle of turning was also increased. As at yesterday night, the traffic was moving,’’ he said.
He said that in collaboration with the Lagos State Government, the Federal Ministry of Works was managing the traffic and making adjustments for improvement while making more major routes motorable and accessible.
The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said that alternative routes were being rehabilitated and other inner routes made motorable.
She stressed the need to eliminate the menace of articulated vehicles on the Eko Bridge.
“Where the real bottleneck is, if we have to look at Lagos wholistically, is at Eko.
” Eko Bridge is still a hot spot because there are some expansion joints right now that are beginning to be slow points.
“Maybe, it might be possible to introduce some topper plates pending when we are going to do the final repairs. That is point number one to note.
“Number two is that we need to come out with some policies on the timing when articulated vehicles can come out, or we do a kind of simulation where smaller cars can go through inner roads and leave the major points for them so that we avoid clogging,’’ she said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Fredrick Oladeinde, said that only 25 per cent of traffic on the bridge was being impacted by the repair works.
Oladeinde said his men were on ground to disperse traffic as quickly as possible during peak hours.
Earlier, Joint Managing Director of Borini Prono and Company (Nigeria) Limited, Gianfranco Albertazzi, the contractor on the project, assured that the project would be completed on schedule.
“We did it before and we are going to do it now,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the bridge which has gone through series of rehabilitation was last shut in August 2018 for a three-day investigative maintaince check.
Thereafter, some components needed for completion of repairs, which were not available locally, were sourced abroad.
The 11.8km Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland.
The bridge starts from Oworonshoki which is linked to the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and ends at the Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island.
It was constructed in 1990 and was the longest in Africa until 1996 when The 6th October Bridge in Cairo was completed.
Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)https://nnn.ng/fashola-reviews-third-mainland-bridge-traffic-architecture/
Third Mainland Bridge: LASTMA hails NURTW over free-flow of traffic
The General Manager of LASTMA, Mr Olajide Oduyoye, gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Monday, while evaluating the traffic situation on the first day of work after the bridge closure.
NAN reports that the partial closure of the bridge by the Federal Ministry of Works is expected to last for six months beginning from July 24, to fix the worn out sections of the bridge.
Oduyoye said the support of the NURTW in the control of traffic and checkmating of their members was laudable.
“Traffic movement is fine so far as expected. We opened the mainland direction at 1:00p.m.
“This morning, I drove down to the Island, traffic to the Island all the way to Silverbird Galleria was pretty smooth. I was even surprised about that and I asked whether there was a public holiday.
“There was really no traffic gridlock at Museum, all through many routes on Victoria Island.
“LASTMA is happy that some unions, especially NURTW, came out en-mass to control traffic and to ensure that their members were not parking wrongly to pick and drop passengers. The union also helped the situation,” he said.
Oduyoye said that traffic managers were also at the notorious Adekunle and Adeniji Adele end of the bridge and a lot of people may have used alternative means of transportation like water transportation.
Oduyoye, who described the development as a good, said breakdown, accidents, arguments and wrong parking were responsible for some of the impediments to traffic flow in the state.
Oduyoye said that he was not expecting any chaotic traffic situation in coming days, considering the priority given to traffic control on the bridge for the period of closure.
The general manager said that the authority had stationed tow trucks to clear all grounded vehicles during and after the partial closure of the bridge.
Oduyoye added that there had not been any report of trailer causing obstruction to traffic flow as witnessed on Saturday.
Edited By: Joe Idika/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)https://nnn.ng/third-mainland-bridge-lastma-hails-nurtw-over-free-flow-of-traffic/