On Friday, the 5th of February 2016, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade, in conjunction with the Lagos State Government inaugurated 5 mobile courts to prosecute traffic and environmental offenders. This is to aid in speedy prosecution and trial of traffic offenders in a bid to reduce the commission of traffic offences and reckless driving on Lagos State roads.

The mobile courts will be presided over by a Magistrate and work in conjunction with security agencies like the Police and LASTMA. The mobile courts are empowered to fine offenders, sentence them to prison terms and impound their vehicles/wares. Lawyers from the State Ministry of Justice would be available to serve as prosecutors as well as lawyers from the Office of the Public Defender who would be available at no cost for accused persons who have no access or funds to hire a lawyer.

The law stipulating the offences and penalties is the Lagos State Traffic Law 2012. Some of the offences and their penalties are included below

1 Violation of routes by 1st offender N20,000.00 commercial vehicles; subsequent offender N30, 000.00
2 Non-display of route and  routes number on vehicle 1st offender-N20,000.00; subsequent offender N30, 000.00
3 Disobeying traffic control personnel 1st offender-  N20,000.00; subsequent offender- N30,000.00 and Impounding of vehicle
4 Parking on yellow line or on any public highway/illegal parking 1st offender-N20,000.00; subsequent offender- N30,000.00
5 Vehicle crossing double yellow line/centre line 1st offender- N20,000.00; subsequent offender-N30,000.00
6 Smoking while driving 1st offender N20, 000.00; subsequent offender- N30,000.00
7 Failure to yield to right of  way of pedestrians at a Zebra crossing 1st offender – N20,000.00 subsequent offender- N30,000.00
8 Conveying more than one of passenger at any given time on a motorcycle 1st offender- N20,000.00; subsequent offender-  N30,000.00  OR  Imprisonment for a term six (6) months OR both fine and imprisonment
9 Motorcycle operator carrying: Pregnant woman Adult with baby Child below the age of twelve (12) years 1st offender- N20,000.00; subsequent offender- N30,000.00 OR  Imprisonment for a term of 3 years OR both fine and imprisonment
10 Driving on the walkway or kerbs N50, 000.00
11 Parking on the walkway or kerbs  N20, 000.00
12 Driving without a strapped seat belt for both driver and passengers  1st offender- N20,000.00; subsequent offender- N30,000.00

Other activities such as crossing of highways where pedestrian bridges are provided, trading of wares on streets or bridges, cleaning windscreens of vehicles etc. are prohibited by the law and punishable under it too.

 For other offences contained in the law, check out our article on the Lagos State Traffic Law http://goo.gl/fUBcK8