The Lagos State government has said there are plans to commence enforcement of a section of the state’s traffic law, which dictates that commercial drivers and their conductors must wear registered uniform and badges by January 2014.
This, according to the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, is for proper identification of the transporters by the public and a move to check the ‘shabby dress’ culture of drivers and conductors.
The Commissioner, who disclosed this at a news conference to launch the National Council on Transportation conference, which the state is hosting, also said another part of the law that will be enforced from 2014 is the restriction of commercial bus drivers to driving for not more than eight hours at a stretch daily.
“Commercial drivers and their conductors would also begin to appear in registered uniform and badges for proper identification by the public. The situation where the drivers and their conductors dress shabbily would be checked with the introduction uniform and badges for them.”
According to Mr Opeifa, Section 44 of the Road Traffic Law bars commuter bus drivers from driving for eight hours at a stretch, saying that government would begin enforcement of the new law in January 2014.
He noted that the next phase is to register all commuter bus drivers, conductors and owners of such vehicles so that through the registration, the drivers could be monitored effectively to ensure compliance with the 8-hour work rule and other aspects of the traffic law.
Opeifa warned that by January 2014, the Lagos state government would not spare any bus driver who failed to register, as his vehicle would be impounded for breaching the traffic law.
“With the development, no driver would be allowed to drive beyond eight hours at a stretch, while owners of the commercial vehicles would be made to get insurance that will cover their passengers.”
Accreditation of owners of the commercial buses is to ensure that all operators were captured in government’s data base to curtail atrocities and crimes committed with the use of unregistered commercial vehicles in the state.
Other parts of the law that will also be enforced include the regulation of routes to be plied and the number of passengers that will be allowed to stand in the BRT buses.
“To be regulated also is the number of passengers who stand in the buses, particularly the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), while no commercial vehicle would be allowed to ply routes not registered for by the government,” he said.
“We are also re-introducing routine system for them. They will only ply only route boldly written on their buses.
“Smoking and eating while driving within the state would attract N20, 000-N30,000 in accordance with the provision of the law for first and second offenders respectively.”