Three police officers and a naval rating are part of the offenders whose vehicles were impounded on Friday in an enforcement carried out by the Anti-One way and Other Traffic Offences Squad of the Lagos State Government.
The traffic offenders met their Waterloo during the Squad’s operations along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and Mile 2 area of the State.
No fewer than 42 vehicles, including two articulated trucks and commercial tricycles, driving against the traffic were arrested by the Squad led by the Commander of policemen in Governor’s Monitoring Team (GMT), Shola Jejeloye, a Superintendent of Police (SP).
The Friday enforcement was jointly carried out by the Squad and men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
The Squad was specially created, last Monday, by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, at the instance of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, with the specific mandate to arrest and impound vehicles plying one-way, BRT lanes and also commercial motorcycles operating in restricted areas.
The mission assumed a dangerous turn when a commercial bus driver driving against traffic on Cele Bridge made an attempt to ram into the operational vehicles of the Anti-One Way Squad in a bid to avoid arrest.
Rather than stop, the driver of the bus, which was fully loaded with passengers, dangerously meandered through the gaps in the convoy and made an attempt to hit officers on sight. The bus revved to a stop when the reckless driver hit a stationary water truck. The driver fled immediately, leaving the bus passengers to their fate.
Also, two police officers driving a Pickup marked “Escort” on a one-way lane at Toyota Bus Stop along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway were accosted by the Squad. The vehicle was impounded alongside the car of a naval rating driving against traffic close to Itire roundabout.
Another police officer driving a private Toyota Camry car was arrested by the Squad in Mile 2 area.
Various commercial buses and tricycles obstructing flow of traffic at various locations were also arrested and towed to the Taskforce office in Alausa.
Speaking during the operation, the GMT Commander, Jejeloye, vowed that the Squad would not relent in its bid to achieve its mandates and return sanity on the roads.
Jejeloye described one-way driving as a security issue, saying the menace usually endangered the lives of road users obeying traffic laws. He added that many commuters had lost their lives as a result of one-way driving.
He said: “We are, again, sounding a note of warning to motorists who do not want to obey the Lagos State Traffic Laws. We will not rest on our oars until we ensure road users follow the regulations and bring about free flow of traffic.
“We also have the Governor’s mandate to ensure those causing obstruction on our highways are arrested, whether those trading on the road or vehicles. We have marked the notorious areas and we will burst them soon. This operation will be regular and shall be sustained in the interest of law-abiding Lagosians.”
Jejeloye appealed to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other transport unions to caution their members against driving on one-way and obstructing traffic flow.
The GMT boss said the Squad would not spare commercial bus drivers arrested for traffic offences, stressing that vehicles and their drivers would be taken to court.
“I am also using this opportunity to reach out to transport unions, whether road or national. They must warn their drivers that are notorious for committing traffic offences. We don’t want to disturb their lawful work, but they also must not be on the other side of the law. Let them respect traffic regulations and there will be no problem,” Jejeloye said.
During the enforcement, the Squad rounded up commercial motorcycles plying restricted areas within the metropolis.
Other areas where the enforcement was carried out include Ikeja, Maryland, Fadeyi, Jibowu, Palm Grove and Yaba.