Unless, you’re not a Lagosian, or you’re a Lagosian who’s been sleeping off a 2 month hangover, you know what today’s post is all about. Right?
We’re talking about the newly signed law which is guaranteed to fuck up your undisciplined Nigerian attitude to traffic behaviour in more ways than one.
The big deal of the new traffic law include: a three year jail term for one-way offenders, a three year jail term for riding a motor cycle without crash helmet for rider and passenger, a 6 month imprisonment for driving with a fake number plate, and a three year jail term for one-way offenders. Oh, I said that last one before? Good, you’re paying attention.
Now, you may thank your stars that you don’t even have a car, “so whatever”, but, I’ll come to that later. For now, who here hasn’t gone wrongly on a one-way road in Lagos before? Either driving or being driven? Show of hands. No one? Nobody? I didn’t think so. You see, one-way roads in Lagos are like established men of God–you never see them coming. Whoever was in charge of crafting the one-way routes definitely has a sense of humour just barely above that of a foot-mat. Unless you know the route, every one-way snaps on you by surprise and you’re already in the waiting arms of the happy law enforcers before you even realise that anything is amiss. With the absence of signs, and the confused state of traffic, it takes high powers of divination to be able to spot a one-way road before you land in it. Unfortunately, few Lagosians can divine their own identity much less that of a side street.
The first six months of implementing the new law would then see almost all commercial drivers, and half of the private drivers sitting in jail, despairingly awaiting trial. “Damn, I’m almost late, let me take this shortcut.” is what you thought. Busted, is what happens next. You’re going to jail, man. In fact, it will become normal for people to leave home for work in the morning and call lawyers before 9 has even struck the a.m. The rate at which people would be getting arrested, everyday would be blowjob day for criminal lawyers.
Now, back to those who take solace in not driving cars. Ever heard of the word “accomplice”? Well, its a crime. Accessory before the fact, accessory after the fact, aiding and abetting. Whatever. You’re all going to jail with the driver. Look it up. Maybe, you told the driver to stop, maybe you warned him against taking the one-way road—well, you may get an acquittal in court—but meanwhile, your boss has sacked you for getting arrested in the first place. By the time your ordeal with the lawyers, police, LASTMA, court officials and the judge is over, you’ll be wishing you had HIV instead—at least they are not discriminated against.
And maybe you sent your friend a text message describing how to get to your house, and your friend follows your instruction, lands in a one-way road and gets arrested. Well, there’s good news for you! You can join him in jail for conspiracy to commit a felony! Isn’t that thoughtful? Look it up! Look it up! Now the two of you can simply get together in jail and plot even more dastardly crimes against society. Yeah?
Now, here’s the sweetest part of this whole legal stuff and shit. You don’t even have to commit the crime to get your ass in jail. An attempt is sufficient. You and your buddies, just chilling at the junction debating whether to take a one-way or not. Then someone says: “C’mon folks, let’s do this shit. Its just a one-way road!” and everybody says “Yeah”. That’s it. Game up. The law on attempts says that’s just as bad as doing the act itself. The police can bust your collective asses right there, and you all get the green card to jail without even enjoying that so sweeeeet one-way road ride. Look it up! Look it up! LOOK IT UP!
Meanwhile, with almost all of Lagos (including my humble self) nicely packed off into one prison cell or the other, we’ll have cleaner streets, saner roads, lesser or even no traffic…oh, wait, I see where you’re going with that, Gov. Fashola. Nice one. Nice one! Thumbs up, bro!