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By Pamela Agboga
THE Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, was set up to regulate traffic in Lagos State, and with the number of road users in the state, it was a necessary solution to a growing problem. While the recent revision of the laws are still the subject of debate in various quarters, I just want to share with you some rights/duties that a LASTMA official has and does NOT have, as it concerns you, the motorist. LASTMA officers have a duty to:
  • Supervise effective traffic control to ensure free flow of traffic on roads located in the area command.
  • Monitor traffic choke points, deployment of appropriate number of personnel, and implementation of appropriate traffic control measures to ensure free flow of traffic in area under his/her command.
  • Monitor routine mobile patrol for the enforcement of road traffic rules and regulations on designated highways in the area command.
  • Co-ordinate records of traffic offenders and ensure that fines, towing and custody fees are paid appropriately in the area under his/her command.
  • Direct prompt removal of obstructions from the highways as a result of accidents, broken down vehicles and debris from inclement weather in areas under his/her command
  • See to the maintenance of discipline of personnel and the observance of all laid down administrative regulations and operational procedures and promptly initiates disciplinary action against erring staff in the area command
  • Ensure security of the office premises and the impounded vehicles under his/her area command.
  • Supervise public education and enlightenment programmes as directed by the Traffic Management Department.
However, in those public education and enlightenment programmes, you are not likely to hear the following important facts, namely that a LASTMA official:
  • Should not drive a motorist’s vehicle
  • Should not search a motorist’s vehicle
  • Should not inspect a motorist’s vehicle particulars
  • Should not enter a motorist’s car without his consent
Search and inspection of vehicles are the duties of the Nigeria Police force. These are some of the right that motorists should be enjoying, but if one is not aware, he will not enjoy them. The average LASTMA official on the road is not going to tell you all these; you’ll just make his work that much harder.  

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This article was first published on 12th December 2012 and updated on May 8th, 2013 at 10:41 am


Chojare Pamela Agboga is a Legal Practitioner, Writer, Editor, Chartered Secretary and Administrator. She is currently working on her first novel 'Weekends are for Loving' as well as a devotional for women.

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