Saturday, September 01, 2012

Okada men defy new law, carry more than one passenger

Okada carrying two passengers on Okobaba inward Abule Egba 


Jankara inward Agbado-crossing

In spite of the gazetting of the new Lagos Traffic law which signifies its implementation, the standard passenger number carried by commercial motorcycles (okada) on many routes in Lagos remains two.

Apart from forbidding okadas from 475 highways in the Lagos metropolis, the new traffic law prescribes one year jail term for any okada men carrying more than one passenger. The motorcycles will also be forfeited to the state.

On Friday, many routes observed still indicated that the practice of carrying two passengers on okadas persisted in spite of the law.

A lesson to draw here is that even if the law prescribes beheading at the village square for this dangerous practice and it is not implemented, it is useless. On the other hand, if the punishment is a fine of N10,000 and it is consistently implemented, people will comply.

Before the passing of this law, Okada men openly carried multiple passengers and rode against the traffic while LASTMA officials and the police looked on disinterestedly. This simply, was why the former law did not work, not because it was not draconian enough. This is what should have been fixed, not making the law draconian to the point of being unjust.

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