80% of accidents in Lagos linked to okada, Are we Safe?

Over 80 per cent of road accidents recorded in Lagos State have a link with motorcycles, the state government has said.

The Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaiye, stated this in Lagos at a stakeholders’ forum on the new traffic law organised for local government officials.

Ipaiye, who spoke through Mr. Olanrewaju Akinsola, said the figure was the outcome of a recent research conducted by the Ministry of Health.

He also said about 25 per cent of crimes committed in the state were aided by commercial motorcycle operators otherwise called okada riders.

The commissioner said no responsible government would continue to watch the rising spate of robberies being caused by the okada operators.

He stated that the state government was concerned about the situation, hence its decision to enact the traffic law.

According to him, the law is meant to regulate commercial motorcycle business and also to sanitise the public transport system in the state.

He noted that the traffic law was not entirely new, recalling that it was first enacted in 1949 to serve only about 300,000 people in the state.

He said the state’s population is currently 18 million.

The commissioner stressed that the old traffic law, having been amended six times, needed to be fine-tuned in line with the current situation.

“When a law has been amended several times, there are bound to be issues of ambiguity,” he said.

Beside security, he said that the new law would also address issues of standard, safety and sanity.

He also spoke on the use of motorcycles by courier service companies.

He said only approved motorbikes, with 200cc engines, would be allowed, just as he added that the riders must use the right number plate, attach mail cabin and carry no passengers on their bikes.

“You will also apply to the commissioner for a permit,” he said.

The commissioner explained that the 200cc engine was approved based on the recommendation of experts that that was the minimum engine capacity for commuting.

Although he said the government did not outlaw the operation of commercial motorcycles, he warned that the business must be done in accordance with the law.

Ipaye also said no branding of commercial vehicles operating in the state would be allowed outside the approved state colour.

Rearing of animals on the road, hawking in the traffic, begging and washing of vehicles have now been banned, he said.

He added that selling of alcoholic drink and herbal concoction would no longer be allowed within the 100 metres of any bus stop and motor park.

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