Further improvement in traffic situation on major roads in Lagos is underway as the Federal Government finally hands over its three watch towers in the city to the state government.

Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Prof Bamidele Badejo, said that the handover process, which started last year, was completed about month ago, adding that work would commence immediately on their rehabilitation.

Besides serving the purpose of traffic control, the commissioner who spoke at the 2010 ministerial press briefing at the state secretariat Alausa-Ikeja on Thursday, said that government was convinced that when the watch towers were rehabilitated, it could be used 'as security and safety monitoring mechanism through the installation of close circuit television.'

The three watch towers located at Ijoraa, Costain and Apongbon were constructed in the seventies but were never deployed for the purpose for which they were installed.

Badejo reiterated the commitment of the state government to free traffic, stressing that efficient transportation system and traffic management remained a catalyst for economic growth and development.

According to him, the man-hour wasted on the road and the stress, which motorists go through to commute from one end to another daily, has become a source of serious concern.

He said that the administration had completed work on infrastructural re-engineering of some road points considered notorious traffic gridlocks.

The work involved either expansion of road or construction of roundabout, improvement of junctions and interjections.

The affected roads, Badejo added, included Shasha/Akowonjo Road, Anthony Bridge, Ilupeju; Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Michael Otedola Estate Road, Billings Way, Ikeja Maryland underpass, Town Planning Way, Ilupeju and Cawrie interjection, Lagos.

He also said, 'The safety enhancement and elimination of traffic conflicts at road interjections where the traffic signal lights are located are indices showing the urgent need in extending this road infrastructure to more troubled road interjections in the state.'

Badejo said that the Babatunde Fashola-led administration had also provided additional road furniture and infrastructure such as bus lay-bys, median barriers, crash prevention guidance, traffic signal lights, road marking and installation of road studs to further ensure a smooth flow of traffic, reduce the travel time and enhance the economic growth of the nation.

Sixteen lay-bys, he added, were provided on a number of roads, with 3013 units of additional directional, informative and warning signs installed at various traffic spots in the state.

The ministry also procured two motorised and four semi-motorised thermoplastic road marking machines to facilitate the commencement of thermoplastic road marking to improve the quality of road markings and ensure that they conform to international standard.

The commissioner said that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority had in the last one year intensified its operations in various zones to curb violation of traffic regulations especially driving against traffic (one way drive), dropping and picking of passengers at undesignated points and other unruly behaviours that could obstruct the free flow of traffic.

Various efforts at improving road safety appeared to be paying off as there has been a consistent drop in the number of road traffic accidents and its associated casualties, according to Badejo.

He attributed the positive development to the enlightenment programme being sponsored by LASTMA both in the electronic and print media and the good road maintenance being championed by the state government.