The secret I want to share with you are not written in books or anywhere, this is the very first place you will get it. You can confidently drive on any roads in Lagos without any fear after you get this secret – quote me anywhere. All you have to do is to read this article to the end and you will find the secret somewhere close to the end. Shall we?
In case you are not aware (or if you have forgotten), let me remind you of the numbers of officials that can stop you on the road and their duties.
What is the work of a Lastma?
Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (Lastma) was established on the 15th of July 2000 by Ex-Governor Bola Tinubu during his tenure as a governor. Their major role is to ensure the free flow of traffic in the state and also reduce road accidents.
If any of the Lastma officials treat you wrongly, you can complain. Just write a statement and if you can get a witness to also agree to the statement, that is fine. Add your contact details and mail it to email@example.com or deliver it in person to Pubic Relation unit at Lastma office in Osodi Lagos – LSTC Building, Oshodi Apapa Express Way, Ilupeju, Lagos.
What is the work of a VIO?
Vehicle Inspection Services/Officers (VIS/VIO) is established to inspect, control, regulate, and enforce the roadworthiness of motor vehicles in the state.
They are permitted to ask for driver’s license, vehicle license, roadworthiness and insurance certificate, fire extinguishers, spare tire, C-caution, wheel spanner, Jack, First-aid kit, Touch light, spare fan belt, tow rope, hackney/stage carriage permit (commercial), vehicle accordance with the state-approved commercial colour, two crash helmets (motorcycle).
They can as well inspect a vehicle’s windscreen, wipers, headlights, tail lights, tires, tires, exhaust for emissions, car’s body, number plates, rearview mirrors, brakes, and also accessories like jack, extinguishers, etc.
What is the duty of FRSC?
Federal Road Safety Commission is a federal commission that operates in all states in Nigeria. Their statutory function is to make the highway safe for motorists and other road users as well as checking the roadworthiness of vehicles. They are the ones that provide driver’s license, plate numbers, and also regulates the use of sirens, flashers, seat belts, and also other safety devices.
- Policemen and Soldiers
What is the function of policemen and Soldiers at checkpoints?
According to the Guardian news, it was stated that the Nigerian Police Force (NFP) explained that the high number of checkpoints on major roads across the country is mainly to check crimes, boost public confidence and ensure safety on the highways. It is important to state that they are permitted to check your particulars – they can ask for your vehicle documents.
Now that you know their roles, can I go-ahead to share the two secrets that will make these officers never to stop to you again?
The two secrets are the real deal because even if you break the rules, you will still not be stopped nor arrested by any road safety officers if you can apply them correctly. Trust me on this
Secret to avoid being arrested by road officials
- Be an officer
I have been on a commercial bus that is not bothered by any road officials. He saw them right in front of him and went ahead to pass the BRT lane confidently. That day, I was feeling on top of the world even though I am just a passenger that will alight a few minutes after. I look out to see the faces of other commercial bus drivers; you need to see the fear and desperation they all had. It was as if they should fly past the area where these officials were standing. One of the conductors alighted from his bus to join ours to obey the two-two on a row requirement during this Covid19 period. He joined our bus that carried four-four in a role.
As we were going, I tucked my head out through the window and I saw a bus with two-two passengers on the role that was stopped and arrested. The LASTMA asked him to come out of his car but he refused to. The passengers were lamenting that the officials should at least tell him what he did before asking him to come down but they refused.
The driver and the conductor was pleading; the passengers were ranting. One of the of the officials already placed a stopper in one of the tires so he won’t be able to run away but he actually ran away eventually.
But here we are in my own bus confidently skipping traffic. I was amazed and happy that I will get to work earlier than expected but I was also curious to know why this bus is so confident to do all of these. So I asked the conductor and all he do was to start hailing the driver. I smiled and looked at the driver, he didn’t have any uniform on. All he was just wearing is just a small body on a tiny legs (smiles). I asked the conductor again and he said
‘Baba na Army’ and that was it.
An Army could do anything on the road of Lagos. But then, it is not just an army, even police do same thing to. Some of these people will even put on a means of identification – it can be a cap or just a whip.
- Always have an officer in your car
Well, if you are not an official and you can’t be one overnight, what can you do to also join those flaunting the rules?
Simply ensure you always have at least one official in your car. With him/her in your car, it is a license to do anyhow you like until he gets down. If he gets down, then you are no longer immune to any road officer and laws. This time, all you have to do is pray for favour. smiles
A bonus point
If you can hire a convoy or if your car is licensed to use the siren, you are a free man on the road of Lagos and anywhere in Nigeria.
That is the reality of how to avoid being stopped and arrested by these officials. But is it supposed to be this way?
There is another way though
This way is the right way and it is the reason we have all the officials on the road in the first place. All you need is
- Make sure you have all the necessary documents with you. It is must be complete and updated.
- Read and digest traffic rules and obey them completely. Don’t think because none of them is close by, you then break a law, you can be caught. We now have CCTV cameras at some locations in Lagos that will catch you red-handed. You will just receive a message for your offense. Yes! It has happened to someone I know. He paid a fine for it.
- There is no lie when you hear people say that Lagos drivers are mad but you can reduce your madness and stop reckless driving. Plan extra time for unforeseen circumstances anytime you have to get somewhere at a specific time. Leave home early, please.
- If you are stopped by any official, listen to them and hear what they have to say. Be calm and confident especially if you can prove that you did not do anything wrong. Don’t argue with them but let them know that you know what you are saying. Don’t be like one driver who didn’t stop when a policeman stopped him. They broke the glass of the Venza car he was driving – his boss’s car.
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