LASTMA and Lagos Traffic Solution

LASTMA and Lagos Traffic Solution

By David Stephen

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) is the major solution for road traffic situation in the state. ‘LASTMAN’ their sobriquet from Lagos parlance have been efficient towards the traffic situation in the state. The overall condition of things in Nigeria, a developing economy gives some applause for their effort and response in discharge of their duties in spite of this.

LASTMA was created about 10years ago and in comparison to human life are still in infancy, a defense for them against those who feel they aren’t doing well. With current renovation of their head office and plans of the agency for adoption of new approach and technologies, Lagos traffic for LASTMA will see a sharp drop in coming months.

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LASTMA has issues no doubt and have bad eggs on their staff list too; there are several challenges faced by LASTMA officials on a personal or family front which may sometimes affect effective discharge of their duties. Some people have had issues with LASTMA that made them wish for scrapping of the agency and LASTMA sometimes flicker to press stories for some not so good news.

Issues or not, residents and visitors to Lagos benefit from their works to ease traffic. The Lagos traffic situation is in a class of its own with several factors responsible. Traffic solution is not a major political promise, (which may not even be at all) but is so required in Lagos that promotion of Lagos to Mega city class may never come with the current state of road traffic.

There are on-going projects of the Lagos Government like alternative route construction, rail line development and increase of water transport carrier. There are some that are suggested and others that are talked about. Good one, as the state is determined to advance at a certain pace.

All solutions cannot go behind LASTMA who probably understand the roads in Lagos than users and have information that includes problems and possible solutions. LASTMA however need more officials to accommodate ever increasing number of vehicles on the road and nobody-knows-why traffic situation occurring perennially in several places across the state.

More officials will have them work smartly while on duty because of a flexible work-shift to accompany this; there will be deployment of officials to alternative routes to foster traffic flow and also have enough officials to be positioned few meters from another on a traffic-biting-solution-resisting route.

More officials will also ensure they are trained effectively on the job; this training aside symposiums usually held for a few officials will involve all officials of LASTMA. This training will direct most of them on what-to-do, how-to-do, when-to-say-what, what-to-observe, when-to-ignore and when-to-arrest amongst others.

This will be populated from reports on work front by officials in a mandatory system for reporting on restructuring of LASTMA. This training with manuals and continuous communication will provide them ‘best practices’ and most suitable option at certain situations.

For LASTMA observation to be made will also include problem of traffic on their route of assignment and possible solutions for it; the Auto Inspector device recently introduced will help this come easier. This will be added to a crowd sourced platform for traffic solutions where LASTMA will request that people submit specific suggestions for solutions along routes. This can come through the web, mobile and SMS, and will request for the name of the sender (optional), the street name, the LGA that route is and the suggestion.

Hundreds of submissions should come in daily since people see and observe differently every time and believe in the ‘New LASTMA’. Any of the major consulting firms can take on this project and seek to train LASTMA and restructure the agency. They will also handle crowd sourced suggestions and ensure that solutions follow submissions.

This reshape may come in 11 – 18months but action from forums and moves from now may be necessary even as a research draft presents.

David Stephen writes science news on ground report; he resides in Surulere, Lagos and can be reached from: [email protected]

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