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Blame FRSC, states, not motorists, for faded number plates – NAJA

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The Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA), the umbrella body of journalists covering the automotive industry in the country, has condemned the arrest of motorists using faded vehicle number plates.

NAJA Chairman, Mr Mike Ochonma, who gave this position in a statement, said the producers of such substandard number plates such as the Federal Road Safety Corps and concerned state governments should be held liable and wondered why the unsuspecting vehicle owners are subjected to such a traumatic experience when they processed and procured their number plates from the relevant authorities.

Ochonma while recognising the efforts of the various authorities in curbing the increasing number of faded number plates in use across the country also challenged authorities producing the number plates to use quality paint and other printing materials that will have a longer lifespan.

This measure he noted would save vehicle owners from the harrowing experience they face regularly in the hands of the state VIS officials, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the police and other statutory authorities.

The NAJA chairman also recommended that owners of faded vehicle number plates if arrested or stopped on the road for such reasons and it is proved that, the vehicle owner can either be given a period of grace within which to get a new one at a discounted price at the time when they are renewing their vehicle particulars.

Some of the motorists said on many occasions they were made to pay varying amounts of heavy fines of up to N20,000 and above with further directive to procure a new number plate for no fault of theirs in addition to the alleged contravention.

According to state VIS sources, motorists with faded vehicle plate numbers are violating traffic rules and must pay fines.

But NAJA said it was improper to impound people’s vehicles or impose fines for driving vehicles with faded number plates, adding that defaulting drivers should rather be made to make payments for automatic replacement.

The group said it was important for road enforcement agencies to find a solution to the low-quality vehicle number plates in circulation.

NAJA stated, “Having faded vehicle plate numbers cannot and should not be blamed on motorists. They were not the people that produced the plate numbers. Hence, it is bizarre that such motorists would be made to pay for offences that are allegedly committed due to no fault of theirs.

“We believe those charged with production of the said substandard number plates which fade easily, instead of heaping the blame entirely on motorists.

“As an association, we urge that to ensure that the number plates being produced by the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Number Plate Production Authority (NPPA) and other production centres for instance are produced under the strict supervision of its quality control officers.”

According to the NAJA, statistics have shown that unlike the vehicle number plates produced by the FRSC in Abuja, most of the vehicle number plates produced by NPPA are those that easily get faded.

Vehicle number plates, NAJA said, should be able to last for about 12 years without getting faded.

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Lamborghini pushes out final Aventador, Ultimae, ends V12 supercar

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Supercar manufacturer, Lamborghini, has announced the production of the last Aventador. You can call it Avantador’s last dance. The final Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae was rolled off the production line in Sant’Agata, Italy, and kissing goodbye to V12-powered supercar that shaped an era. The Lamborghini V12 will be hybridised going forward.

This Ultimae Roadster marks the 11,465th Aventador to reach customers worldwide. First launched in 2011, the Aventador is not exactly modern, but when it debuted, it was described by CEO Stephan Winkelmann as “a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology,” with “performance that is simply overwhelming.”

A plug-in hybrid replacement is expected to be revealed later this year, having been spied testing.

Lamborghini made sure the final model was the most powerful, with the 6.5-litre unit producing 10bhp more than in the previous range-topping Aventador, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, sending 769bhp (780PS, hence the name) to both axles. The Aventador-based Essenza SCV12 produces 819bhp but is limited to track use.

The Ultimae’s 531lb ft torque peak matches the SVJ’s, with which it shares its power- to-weight ratio. But with a 0-62mph time of just 2.8sec and a top speed of 221mph, the Ultimae is the fastest road-going Aventador.

The 350 coupés and 250 roadsters – each sold with a numbered plaque – were offered in a range of unique colour schemes, including a new grey-on-grey option with contrasting red trim elements, while the roadster could be specified with an exposed carbonfibre roof panel. It was also subtly marked out from other Aventadors by way of a unique styling package that “took the best components” of the S and SVJ.

The Aventador’s plug-in hybrid replacement will serve as a bridge to pure-electric Lamborghini models in the future.

This electrified future will see the Hurácan and Lamborghini Urus also go down the same route, and an all-electric 2+2 introduced in the second half of the decade.

Importantly, however, while its replacement will use an electrified drivetrain, it will take the bulk of its power from a large-capacity V12, in line with company boss Stephan Winkelmann’s commitment to the emotional value of its supercars.

He told Autocar last year that there is “a lot of emotion attached” to the 12-cylinder engine, which he is particularly aware of, having been involved in the launch of the Aventador in his first stint as the boss of Lamborghini in 2011.

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Lagos holds car-free day, residents to go cycling, walking Sunday

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Residents of Lagos on Sunday (tomorrow) are expected to take to trekking and cycling as the state observes car-free day.

The Lagos State Government said this in a statement, adding that the programme would be organise in collaborating with the Lagos Urban Development Initiative (LUDI).

It stated that the event was to encourage road users and motorists to park their cars for a day and take up active and inclusive means of transport such as cycling and walking known as Non-Motorized Transport (NMT).

It stated that traffic would be diverted around Alausa/Ikeja as cyclists would utilise Governor’s Office Road, through Mobolaji Johnson Ave, Billings Way, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Aromire, Adeniyi Jones, and Oba Akran Way for bicycle ride to mark the event while about 400 metres of the Governor’s Avenue will be closed for the event.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, said the aim of the initiative was to create awareness about the benefits of NMT, which include reduced environmental pollution.

The commissioner who was quoted in a statement by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Mrs Bolanle Ogunlola, added that the initiative would reduce insufficient physical activity and sedentary behaviour to promote health of the people regardless of their ages.

He cited the significant drop in air pollution recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, when movement was curtailed and many private cars and public vehicles were off the roads, which he said resulted in reduction of vehicular carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

This, he stressed, helped in improving the quality of air, as well as increase in physical exercise and improved health practice.

Oladehinde said, “Vehicular emissions have now become a global issue. In Nigeria as well as other developing countries, 25% of the air pollution problems are as a result of automobile exhaust.

“This is very evident in the number of unroadworthy, smoky vehicles plying our roads on daily basis, causing not just health issues but visibility problems and sometimes accidents.”

He also said the event would  provide cities and governments an opportunity to do more in advancing public transport systems which could be run more efficiently through provision of viable, reliable alternatives to the cars in the urban areas, as well as implementing NMT with walking, cycling and inclusive mobility given priority.

Oladeinde said the event being coordinated by the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation along with other Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Lagos Urban Development Initiative was necessary to continuously enlighten the citizenry on the importance of environmental health.

He urged motorists to prepare to join the rest of the world in observing the Car Free Day.

The commissioner disclosed that hundreds of people are expected to convene at the Alausa, Ikeja venue where many fun and exciting activities such as cycling, cycling training, cycling competitions, skating, stretches, music, dance would hold.

 

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Auction: Lagos Assembly reviewing traffic law, says Justice commissioner

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The Lagos State House of Assembly is currently reviewing the state Transport Sector Reform Law (2018) for amendment, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, has said.

He said this on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

It was a reaction to the criticism that greeted last Thursday’s auction of vehicles impounded for traffic offences by officials of the state government.

Onigbanjo said, “The Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law is currently being reviewed by the state House of Assembly and amendments will be in place as soon as possible.

“This issue of driving against traffic has become such a nuisance, such a danger, and such a menace to society that something drastic has to be done, and the legislators at that time imposed these penalties.

“There is a process to amend the law so people can go up to their representatives in the state house of assembly and make agitations that in our view, this is draconian and we think you should change the law. That could kick-start the process but ongoing right now, there is a process to review the law.”

There has been public outcry after abandoned and impounded vehicles were auctioned last week by the Lagos State Government at the Task Force Yard, Ikeja.

Some of those who attended the public sale included drivers whose vehicles were seized for disobeying traffic laws.

The event was filled with different dramas from bidders and businessmen who came solely for business purposes.

The Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law 2018 states that anyone who drives in a direction prohibited by the law or neglects traffic direction will have to forfeit the vehicle as a fine and, in addition, serve one-year imprisonment for a first-time offender and three years imprisonment for second-time offenders.

 

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