Lagosians have continued to react to the enforcement of the law restricting the movement of trucks within the metropolis to nighttime.
Under the Lagos State Traffic Law 2012, articulated trucks are only allowed to ply the routes in Lagos between 9pm and 6am.
The three year old law had not been implemented since it was signed on August 2, 2012 by former Governor Raji Fashola but a fatal truck accident at Ojuelegba, which led to the loss of three lives prompted the decision by the state government to commence its full implementation.
While making contributions via telephone during a live maritime radio programme, Ships & Ports Radio on Radio Nigeria 103.5FM in Lagos, some of the callers supported the decision of the government as a measure aimed as saving lives while others believed that the measure would affect port operation.
“The restriction of articulated vehicles movement should have affected the tankers too because the petroleum tankers cause more harm than other articulated vehicles. I am in support of the restriction but there must be palliatives.
“We cannot go against it because it is an Act of the Lagos State House of Assembly and unless it is repealed, it is a valid law,” said a clearing agent who identified himself as Brother Chukwudi Ike.
Ike however berated the Lagos State Government for not utilising money collected as Wharf Landing fee for repairing the port access roads.
“The road leading to Tin Can Island is a nightmare yet the state government collects Wharf Landing Fee and this fee is supposed to be used to maintain the port access roads. A lot of issues have to be looked at before enforcing the law,” he said.
Another caller who identified himself as Michael, said, “The restriction of truck movement till night in Lagos State is a welcome development because for those who close late from work at night and observe these trucks. In fact you will weep for this country because some of them don’t have full light, break light, they don’t have anything. Some of these trucks are supposed to be condemned. So it is a very welcome development.”
Ogochukwu, who called in from Jibowu, Lagos, however thinks otherwise. She said rather than stop the trucks from operating during the day, the should be allowed to move at anytime but on designated routes. She also asked the state government to bar heavy duty trucks from using bridges in the metropolis.
Ike who called in from Mazamaza said, “What the government should have done is to divert all heavy duty trucks through Oshodi –Apapa expressway and leave Western Avenue alone and if they have to go through Western Avenue, they shouldn’t use the bridges.”
He expressed concerns that the trucks risk losing their cargo to thieves and vandals at night if they are not allowed to operate during the day.
On his part, Ishola Alabede, who called into the programme from Lagos said, “Let’s give the law six months and see how it works out. Let’s not just assume it will not work, they (truck drivers) should endure for just six months and see.”
Chief Isaiah Okonkwo who called in from Kirikiri said the major problem facing truck operators is the state of the roads in the Lagos metropolis.
“It is not only Ojuelegba but most roads in Lagos are bad and government needs to do something about it. Secondly, regulators of these vehicles need to check if they are road worthy and not about collecting money and asking them to go. And they should ensure that only roadworthy trucks are allowed into the terminals to carry containers.
“Government says they should move at night, what about security, are there enough security for truckers at night? Government should also create a fee collecting truck park for them whereby they only exit the park when it is their turn to enter the terminals and when they fail to park in the park, they should face the penalties,” he said.
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