The Lagos State Government says it is set to stop professional drivers who are not certified by its Drivers’ Institute from operating in the state.
According to the Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, they comprise commercial drivers operating intra routes; commercial drivers transporting people from other states; drivers in companies and those driving private persons, among others.
Opeifa said henceforth, using uncertified drivers would attract penalties of between N50, 000 and N250, 000 fines or jail terms, as prescribed by the state traffic law of 2008.
He said, “For four years, we have been campaigning and slowly enforcing the rule. We are now ready to enforce it seriously. We have spoken with transport unions, companies and other stakeholders on the need to comply with the new regulation.
“Giving your vehicle to a driver that is not certified is an offence by both the owner and the driver. With this new measure, we hope to reduce road accidents in this state by 50 per cent.”
Opeifa said the state government had registered only 18,000 drivers since 2008 as against 500,000 it projected.
He added that with its record, the state institute would partner with transport unions and other businesses to have accurate data on professional drivers and also facilitate interaction between drivers and prospective employers.
“But let me make it clear that Lagos Drivers Institute is not a replacement of the national Driving License Scheme. Before you can be certified, you must have your Driving License.”
The LDI Chief Executive Officer, Ayodeji Oyedokun, who took journalists round the facilities of the institute in Oshodi, said there were five in all in the state.
He explained that the institute offered “Mandatory; Rehabilitation and Instructors’ courses for new drivers, those who committed offences and those who would train others. He urged private vehicle owners to upgrade their driving skill and knowledge of roads by voluntarily enrolling for the rehabilitation course.
He insisted that the state would not exempt any professional driver from its certification, saying, “If you operate in a state, you must obey the law. So if you are driving between Ibadan and Lagos or any other places, you must be trained by LDI. It will decrease road accidents.”