We don’t charge errant motorists fines — LASTMA

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority has denied allegations of arbitrarily imposing fines on traffic offenders for violating the state traffic law.

A statement by the agency on Wednesday said traffic offenders were usually taken to court, where a magistrate would rule on appropriate sanctions.

LASTMA issued the statement after a Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos ruled that fines imposed on motorists by the agency were illegal.

The General Manager of LASTMA, Mr Olawale Musa, explained that the agency had been complying with the ruling delivered by a Federal High Court on September 16, 2011, by issuing offenders referral notices for appearance in court, stating the specified fines and penalties.

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“No LASTMA official has the power to impose a fine on any traffic offender without recourse to the court, which then pronounces judgment on the matter,” he added.

Musa noted that some motorists, who acknowledged their offences and did not want to face the court, on their own volition opted to pay the stipulated fines to avoid penalties that could result from further inspection of their vehicles.

“We will not condone any illegality in our operations in any way. Rather, we will intensify our efforts at ensuring compliance as well as safe and free-flow of traffic by the commuting public on every road in Lagos State,” the LASTMA boss said.

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