THERE were mixed reactions by commercial bus drivers over the proposed implementation of the new traffic law in Lagos which stated that commercial bus drivers can’t operate more than eight hours at a stretch.
According to Mr. Kayode Opeifa, Commissioner for Transportation, Section 44 of the Road Traffic Law bars bus drivers from driving for eight hours at a stretch, saying that government would begin enforcement of the law in January 2014. He said many commuter bus drivers did not know that such a provision exists in the traffic law, adding that the next phase is to register all bus drivers, conductors and owners of such vehicles so that through the registration, the drivers could be monitored effectively to ensure compliance with the 8-hour work rule and other aspects of the traffic law.
“By January 2014, government will enforce the Section 44 of the Road Traffic Law which bars commercial bus drivers from driving for eight hours at a stretch. With this development, no driver would be allowed to drive beyond eight hours at a stretch, while owners of commercial vehicles would be made to get insurance that will cover their passengers. Furthermore, commercial drivers and their conductors would also begin to appear in registered uniform and badges for proper identification by the public. This development is to sustain security and safety already established in the state by the state traffic law, adding that accreditation of the owners of the commuter buses was to ensure that all operators were captured in government’s data base to curtail atrocities and crimes committed with the use of unregistered commercial vehicles. Also, the situation where the drivers and their conductors dress shabbily would be checked with the introduction of uniform and badges for them. We are also re-introducing routine system for them. They will only ply routes boldly written on their buses.”
A cross section of commercial bus drivers and conductors who spoke to ENCOMIUM Weekly expressed mixed feelings concerning the law.
– FEMI OYEWALE