A recent report in The Guardian says the controversial new traffic bill prescribing three years jail term for one-way traffic violators in Lagos State will be signed into law today by Governor Babatunde Fashola. However, due to recent developments, the jail term has been reduced to one year for first time violators of one-way traffic in Lagos.Trying to be my brother’s keeper, I would like to share with you some roads in Lagos that can take you directly to jail as from Friday.
Since a new Shopping Mall accommodating Shoprite was launched in Alausa, Ikeja, the road that passes directly behind it is now a one-way street. Policemen have been feeding fat on people who had used that road for ages and are unaware of this new development. When the bill becomes law, heading in the wrong direction on the road will send you to jail for three years.
To new motorists or those visiting Lagos, Somolu is filled with booby-traps that can send you to jail. One-way streets there are numerous. But the ones that quickly come to mind include Oyebajo Street. If you’re coming from Morocco Road, going to Ikorodu Road, Oyebajo Street is to the right. With no visible signs, this street is a one-way ticket to jail.
Again, when coming from Ikorodu Road, heading to Igbobi College, there is another one-way traffic street by Fadeyi Bus Stop via Kalejaiye Street. It is the right turning before the National Orthopaedic Hospital. Officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority will usually not stay at the entry point to warn you, but in the middle to apprehend you. You will regain your freedom in three years!
Then, the popular bridge linking Dopemu to Egbeda is one-way traffic at a designated time of each day. From 5am to 11.59am, you can cross from Dopemu side to the Egbeda side and vice versa without any trouble. But by noon, if you cross from Egbeda side to Dopemu, LASTMA and the police will be waiting for you with a Black Maria. Kiss your freedom goodbye.
On the Yaba/Akoka section, there are a few booby-traps, apart from the clear one-way traffic roads with concrete medians. The one that leaps to mind now is the major road from University Junction that leads directly to the UNILAG Gate. This road is 95 per cent two-way traffic. But there is a 5 per cent one-way traffic, where you have to detour inside the community and burst out a little further down the road. There is an old, faded ‘No Entry’ sign, to warn motorists, but many first timers miss it. They are joking with three years jail term.
The service lane at Oshodi coming from Mile Two is presumably two-way traffic up to a little after NAFDAC. The road forks into two, the right links CAPPA/Mushin, while the left links Oshodi Oke. Motorists who want to drop passengers at Oshodi, but are too law-abiding to do it on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, usually enter the service lane, drop their passengers, drive past NAFDAC and at the fork, bear left to link Oshodi Oke, onward to Oworonsoki or Maryland, as the case maybe.
But any day some LASTMA officials are broke, they usually stay on top of Oshodi Oke bridge and monitor those climbing the bridge at the fork. They then pounce on them, accusing them of one-way traffic violation. If you are unlucky to pass that route on one of such days, you will be writing a prison memoir soon, or you offer to pay for the school fees of the children of the ‘hardworking’ LASTMA officials who apprehend you. Which would it be?
Then, from the past few months, motorists coming from Toll Gate by 7Up, and attempting to link Oregun can no longer drive straight into Ikosi Road by Union Bank. Entry has been barred even though there is no single sign to that effect yet. In lieu of that, there are traffic cones placed there to guide motorists. In all fairness, there are sometimes some honest LASTMA guys at the intersection to guide confused motorists how they can access Ikosi via Unilever.
But often times, on duty are the crooked ones who see an opportunity to make money. When a Lagos State Waste Management Authority truck or other government vehicles exempted from traffic laws blow these cones away, motorists coming afterwards inadvertently drive into Ikosi at the intersection and are slammed by LASTMA and gun-toting policemen. You are in serious trouble.
There are many more, I’m sure. If there are some roads you know that are not included, be your brothers’ keeper and share. Wish you a jail-free motoring.
Culled from John Awe Online