OKUNADE ADEKUNLE

Traffic has been a major challenge in  the urban environment where there is high crime rate because of its  cosmopolitan nature and more urban infrastructural development. The  cause of traffic in this environment cannot be disconnected from the  improper road network planning by successive governments who have governed  the state who never planned along with the expected increase in road  users, thus affecting the level which the security agencies, most  especially the Nigeria Police Force can cope.

It is clear that the pattern and level of our policing in the country is still to a large extent  rudimentary when compared with the Western democracies in terms of  facilities and strategies but this is not to say that the Nigeria Police  Force has not gone technical and technological in its crime-fighting.

What is still clear is that the traffic experience on the road network  most often Jeopardised the police effort when they are to carry out  their assigned duties of smashing people of the underworld whenever they are alerted of any crime.

The Lagos traffic  has many sides which obviously are widely perceived to be disadvantaged  as part of the disadvantages is its effect on productivity and  efficiency. This is attributed to the inability of the security agencies to get quickly to the scene of crime as most of them do not  have the helicopter to operate on air even those that have do not  have enough to do so.

It is without doubt that the high population rate in Lagos is predominantly responsible for the huge traffic jam which the  city is experiencing.

Although there are other factors like the  vechicular breakdown and road accidents which are causing traffic jam  but the one that constitutes more of it is the population density of the state. The slowdown effect of the traffic jam cannot be underestimated and it backed the reason why it is high time the Lagos State government  should intensify its effort and strategies in ameliorating the problem  as it is affecting the emergency response effort of the available  emergency response units like the Police, Fire Service and Ambulance  service.  Overtime, the traffic situation in the state has always  been a thing of advantage to the people of the underworld who use that  as an opportunity to either rob or escape from the police.

Security  expert argued that there is need to have an aerial crime fighting  approach as it will always give the people of the underworld a serious  thinking as they would believe that there is possibility of getting them killed or arrested. What increases the traffic obedience is the  growing traffic level across the state which has produced no hiding  place for traffic offenders. It is right to state that since the  perpetuators of the act in no time get caught and punished by the law  enforcement agencies, it has reduced the mischievous act of disobeying  the traffic light and rules thereby reduced traffic jam.

Meanwhile, in the last administration of the state, the immediate past Governor of  the state, r Babatunde Fashola in his effort in reducing traffic jam,  introduced traffic law. According to him when he met with the leaders of commercial Motorcycle operators and Community Development Committee in  August 2014, he stated that the traffic law is one which is good for the activities of the road users so as to reduce traffic jam and as well  regulate the behavior of the road users in the state.

In similar  view, the immediate past Commissioner of Transportation, Mr Kayode  Opeifa, stated that the traffic law came into being not only to improve  the responsibility of preservation of life and property, improve security traffic situation but also to improve traffic management and  control in the state.

“The Traffic law came into being not only to  improve the responsibility of preservation of lives and property, improve security, traffic situation but also to improve traffic management and  control in the state”, said Opeifa It will be right to state that in  its bid to rid the roads in the metropolis of gridlocks, the Lagos state government inaugurated the state’s traffic radio station.

The idea  behind the establishment of the traffic radio was to help reduce traffic on the roads by providing traffic news which will assist motorists to  make the right decisions that will in turn help to decongest the roads.

Also, the immediate past Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Hon. Adejoke  Orelope-Adefulire, at the opening of the 2012 National Convention of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship at the Police College Grounds,  Ikeja, stated that the state government put in place the traffic radio  station with a view of helping commuters plan their journey and also  sensitise road users throughout their travel time.

She stressed that the traffic radio as was sustained in developed cities of the world,  provided citizens the avenue to express their feelings on the traffic  situation, the activities of enforcement agencies and also the state of the roads. Traffic Jam has always been a serious problem in the country but majorly Lagos and this has affected crime fighting .

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