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Lagos Braces Up For 21st Century Traffic Challenge

ROTIMI ASHER

In order to run an effective motor vehicle administration that befits a 21st century megacity status, Lagos State Government has procured equipments/vehicles, installed Computerized Vehicles Inspection Centers and Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras to ease vehicular movement in the state.

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]peaking with Motoring World during an interview in his office, the Director, Vehicle Inspection Service, Akin-George Fashola said, ‘’ we now have 10 Computerized  Inspection Center spread across the state.

The idea is for you to take your vehicle to these particular locations and they will do an electronic test on your vehicle for emission, suspension, headlamp, steering, wipers, windscreen and others to check and make sure your stop/tail lights are functioning. It is two results that come from the test. It is either you pass or fail. If you pass, it is good to go. We will issue a road worthiness certificate. The test will take less than 50 minutes. It will avail you the opportunity to know what failed in your car. You go and fix it. It is good for you to go.’’

‘’ That being said,’’ he added,’’ the road is a shared asset. The state, as a responsible government, must also protect other road users. If you are safe and I am safe, everybody is safe. So we have ten centers on ground now and we will finish four more very soon. We plan to have one in every local government and local development area (LCDA) in the state. It is a huge project and the government is committed to doing it.

According to Fashola, Automatic Number Plate Recognition Cameras are now installed and located along major highways, Lagos Ibadan Expressway, third Mainland Bridge, Lekki-Epe Free way, Ikorodu road, Ikeja, Lagos Abeokuta Expressway and others.

He stated further: “We have mobile cameras fixed on our vehicles that we use for patrol. Those ones move about or sometimes stationary. What it does is that it reads number plates. It allows documentation check. I don’t need to stop your vehicle to check document. It is not necessary. We use technology to do that now.

‘’The system just identifies your  plate number from which it runs through insurance data base, vehicular data base, road worthiness certificate data base, packing permit data base, crosschecking all of them to ensure that a vehicle is not in violation of any. And if it does, it issues an automatic ticket to an erring vehicle and the module is sent to the owner that he has violated a section of the Lagos State traffic law. That is what ANPR does for us.’’

‘’ Another reform we have in the pipeline include procuring more patrol vehicles so that we can patrol street of Lagos without necessarily having to stand on the road, stopping vehicles; we can just pull up behind you and pull you over. That will enable us to keep traffic moving and also apprehend erring vehicles that are causing menace on the road.’’

As further revealed by Fashola, Lagos state is also looking at technology that will combat things like driving one way, running red light, driving on BRT corridors and so on.

He added: “We are going to use the combination of technology and enforcement to drive. So going forward, you will see that aspect of enforcement coming into play. All these are in the pipeline.”

 

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