PROBLEMS FACING  LAGOS STATE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF TRAFFIC LAWS ON THE HIGHWAY

130

AN ASSESSMENT OF PROBLEMS FACING  LAGOS STATE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF TRAFFIC LAWS ON THE HIGHWAY

CHAPTER ONE/INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

The daily movement of people and freights within and outside the mega-city of LAGOS is becoming more difficult and complex. This is reflected in the increasing bumper-to-bumper traffic being experienced in the mega-city of Lagos during 6.30 am – 11.30am morning peak hours and (3.00pm – 7.30 pm) evening peak hours. It now seems that traffic congestions are becoming forcefully acceptable excuses for workers being late to work in Lagos metropolis. The poor traffic situation in Lagos mega-city arises as a result of the various land-use activities such as commercial, industrial, educational, administrative, public and semi public, recreational land-use patterns and circulation/transportation land use and its resultant activities. Also, the poor geographical location of the city, coupled with inadequate and inefficient transport activities, the erratic behaviour of drivers and sudden surge in the car ownership have combined to complicate Lagos traffic problems. Thus, traffic cannot flow efficiently and the overall result is the clogging of the Lagos metropolitan roads. Other factors enumerated in the literature as the factor responsible for traffic congestion in Lagos mega-city and in Nigerian cities in general are: inadequate parking spaces, erratic public transport, over- reliance on road and indiscipline among the motorists (Adedimila 1981; Adenle 1981; Oyefesobi 1981; Orioke 1981; Tarfa 1981; Okpala 1981; Ogunsanya 2002; Oyesiku 2002; Vandu-Chikolo etal 2004; Oni 2005).

One approach at solving this problem adopted by the Lagos State Government is traffic management through the establishment of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA). Traffic management could be regarded as a systematic and sustained effort on directing and controlling all traffics on our roads to make them free from negative effects of the transport system.

 

BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY AREA

The study area – Lagos mega-city – is located on the south-western coast of Nigeria along the Bight of Benin between latitudes 60 and 70 North of the equator and between longitudes 30 and 40 East of the Greenwich. Lagos mega-city was bounded to the south by the Atlantic Ocean, to the north by the boundary of Lagos state with Ogun state, to the west by the Ologe Lagoon and to the east by a boundary line north from Ogombo village, across Lagos lagoon and inclusive of Ikorodu. The central core (city of Lagos) covers an important and the most vibrant land space of Lagos state. Lagos MEGA – CITY comprises of: Lagos – island, Lagos – Mainland, Mushin, Oshodi – Isolo, Agege, Alimosho, Ojo, Amuwo – Odofin, Ajeromi – Ifelodun, Apapa, Surulere, Ifako – Ijaiye, Koshofe, Shomolu, Eti – Osa and Ikeja local councils.

Statement of the Problem

Lagos in the recent time, strived to revitalize service delivery. In an attempt, innovative organizations were employed to deliver services which road traffic management was among. The reform let to the introduction of agencies as a new public organization. These agencies have been put in charge of creating and managing organizations responsible for providing high-quality public services to citizens (Fatile & Ajulor, 2014)

 

There have been agencies before the public management reforms, but these agencies were not proactive enough to meet the needs of the people like the agencies we have today. The new agencies were established with the new public management orientations which necessitate that customer or the clients should be made king in the process of service delivery in the state. This was emphasized in the Lagos State Government Public Service Management Guidelines for Implementing Service Charters provided by the state government in 2010. The guide therefore highlighted some key challenges, which needed to be treated. Among other thing was Lagos traffic was laid emphasis on (Asiyanbola and Adewale, 2012). This is reflected in the increasing bumper-to-fender traffic being experienced in the mega-city of Lagos during peak hours (6.30 am to 11.30am) and (3.00pm – 7.30 pm). It now seems that traffic congestions are becoming forcefully acceptable excuses for workers being late to work in Lagos metropolis.

The poor traffic situation in Lagos mega-city arises as a result of the various land-use activities such as commercial, industrial, educational, administrative, public and semi public, recreational land-use patterns and circulation/transportation land use and its resultant activities. Also, the poor geographical location of the city, coupled with inadequate and inefficient transport activities, the erratic behaviour of drivers and sudden surge in the car ownership have combined to complicate Lagos traffic problems. Thus, traffic cannot flow efficiently and the overall result is the clogging of the Lagos metropolitan roads (Asiyanbola and Adewale, 2012).

One approach at solving this problem adopted by the Lagos State Government is traffic management through the establishment of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA). Traffic management could be regarded as a systematic and sustained effort on directing and controlling all traffics on our roads to make them free from negative effects of the transport system. LASTMA is found under the auspices of Agencification to deliver effective services to the people. LASTMA operates independent of any ministerial department created by state government for the purpose of managing the traffic and fine the defaulter of the road laws. However, the unending traffic jam in Lagos state is increasing despite the creation of LASTMA to control traffic in Lagos, it has come to notice that workers can no longer be punctual to his/her work due to the recurring decimal of the road traffic.

Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study was to An assessment of problems facing  Lagos State Traffic Management Authority in the enforcement of traffic laws on the highway  with particular reference on the efforts to reduce road traffic problems.

The specific objectives of this study are:

  1. To trace the historical background of LASTMA;
  2. To examine the role and functions of LASTMA;
  3. To evaluate the constraints and challenges of LASTMA in the implementation and execution of its various road traffic programmes;
  4. To assess the public perception on the impact of LASTMA in curbing traffic chaos in the mega-city of Lagos;
  5. To examine the causes of road traffic congestion in Lagos mega-city.

Research Questions

  1. What are the historical background that gave birth to LASTMA?
  2. What are the significant role and functions of LASTMA?
  3. What are the possible constraints and challenges of LASTMA in the implementation and execution of its various road traffic programmes?
  4. How do the public perceive the impact of LASTMA in curbing traffic chaos in the mega-city of Lagos?
  5. What are the main causes of road traffic congestion in Lagos mega-city?

Scope of the Study

The study will only empirically investigate the  problems facing  Lagos State Traffic Management Authority in the enforcement of traffic laws on the highway. The study will only be restricted to Lagos state.

Significance of the Study

The significance of a study of this magnitude cannot be overemphasized. drivers, local government transport department, state and federal ministries of transportation involved in policy formulation and implementation, would find this study really useful especially as they utilize the findings of the study.

The study will equally add to the existing body of knowledge on the subject matter. Students undergoing research work similar to the present study who may wish to use this work as a reference material or a spring board for their own work will find this work really useful.

Limitations of the Study

Financial Constraints: The researcher was with limited funds, she cannot visit all the areas to get responses from respondents but she was able to get good information concerning the research topic.

Time Constraints: The researcher was involved in other departmental activities like seminars, attendance of lectures et.c which limited her time for the research but the researcher was able to meet up with the time assigned for the completion of the research work.

______________________________________