This is a detailed guide on Nigerian Traffic Regulations. Do you realize that a driver’s failure to follow traffic laws and regulations can result in an accident? Typically, this occurs because someone either doesn’t know the traffic regulations or willfully refuses to follow them at a certain time.
The Federal Road Safety Corps has introduced several road safety measures to maintain order in society and limit the number of accidents. Several of the Nigerian traffic rules are aimed at drivers, while others are aimed at pedestrians.
Nigerian traffic regulations are designed to keep the country safe and orderly while also reducing congestion and accidents.
There is a slew of Nigerian traffic regulations in place to ensure this. So, without further ado, let’s look at what Nigerian traffic regulations entailed.
Definition of Traffic Regulations
The term “traffic regulation” refers to the set of rules and regulations governing how people utilize the roads to keep them safe and maintain a smooth flow of traffic.
It is also the official rules of Nigeria’s road safety body, the “Federal Road Safety Commission of Nigeria (FRSCN),” which are enforced by road users. The road users are;
- Vehicle drivers
- Motorcycle operators
- Pedestrian etc.
Brief History of Nigerian Traffic Regulations
Nigerian traffic regulations date back to the British colonial administration when the country was ruled by British colonial administrators.
During the Southern Protectorate, the Motor Traffic Ordinance was issued in 1913, which was followed by the National Motor Traffic Ordinance in 1916, which was issued following the unification of the northern and southern protectorates.
To bring the ordinance in line with the English Road Traffic Act of 1930, it was revisited in 1940 and 1945.
After Nigeria gained its independence in 1960, the Police Traffic Unit was formed. Several major traffic-related laws were implemented across Nigeria’s regions and in Lagos after the country’s republican constitution was adopted in 1963.
Road Traffic Laws Cap 116 of 1963 for Eastern Nigeria, Road Traffic Law Cap 118 of 1963 for Northern Nigeria, Road Traffic Law Cap 113 of 1959 for Western Nigeria, Road Traffic Laws Cap 184, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria and Lagos 1958 (later Road Traffic Laws cap 124, Laws of Lagos State 1973) and Abuja Road Traffic Act Cap 548 Laws of the Federation 1990 were the enactments…
These laws were governed by the residual list, not the exclusive or concurrent list, under the republican constitution. Under the Road Traffic Act Cap 548 Laws of the Federation (Abuja) 1990 and its supplemental legislation, however, only the Federal Capital Territory Abuja was restricted.
The virtue of Decree 45 as revised by Decree 35 of 1992 by the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida was founded in 1988.
The Federal Traffic Safety Commission was established and given authority because of historical precedents and current conditions related to Nigerian road trends.
Cap 141 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 additionally amended the Act establishing the Federal Road Safety Commission.
For the time being, the Federal Road Safety Commission’s responsibilities, tasks, and scope of operation may be found in the Federal Road Safety Commission (Establishment) Act 2007.
By creating the Federal Road Safety Commission, the nation’s top traffic management organization, Congress not only improved traffic management but also encouraged high standards for all states’ road safety programs.
Top 20 Nigerian Traffic Regulations
Many Nigerian traffic regulations are aimed at eliminating traffic jams and road accidents. To keep yourself and others safe, you should familiarize yourself with the top 20 Nigerian traffic regulations listed below and learn how to safely implement them.
1. Maintain Your Left-hand Side While Driving
This may be the world’s most basic road safety guideline. Drivers are expected to drive on the left side of the road to avoid an accident.
The theory is based on drivers’ logic. As you keep your left, the opposing driver is supposed to do the same. This reduces accidents and makes everyone happy.
2. Drive Slow On Bends and Corners
Another Nigerian traffic regulation is to drive more slowly around curves. Drivers sometimes fantasize about driving like James Bond or going fast and angry at all times. And that’s the primary cause of accidents in Nigeria.
3. Drive Slowly On-Road Congestions
Another rule you must follow is here. When traffic is heavy, the safest course of action is to drive slowly and watch out for oncoming pedestrians.
4. Always Obey Speed-Limits
Depending on the conditions of the road and the time of day, different speed limits may apply to vehicles. You should slow down if you’re near a school or hospital to prevent hitting pedestrians. The speed limit can be increased on highways, though.
If you break the speed limit, you could find yourself in trouble with the authorities. If you’ve been charged with a crime like this, you may be requested to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
At road construction sites, as on any other route, you must observe the speed restriction signs.
5. Maintain the Right Distance
Accidents occur when a driver fails to maintain a safe distance from other drivers. So, when driving, keep at least 30 feet from the car in front of you. This allows you to fully control your gazing wheel and avoid mishaps.
6. Apprehend and Follow Road Signals
Yes, each traffic sign has a certain meaning. Each signal instructs you what to do at a certain time to avoid danger. They aren’t just there to stare at you; they aren’t even alive.
As a driver, you must know these symbols and their meanings. Many mishaps can be avoided.
As a driver, you must know these symbols and their meanings. Many casualties can be dodged.
7. Vehicle Plate Number
In Nigeria, all vehicles must have license plates numbers. These plates numbers are required to follow the rules.
a) It must be carried by the vehicle on two plates that meet the FRSC requirements.
b) The number plate must be difficult to remove.
8. Vehicle Insurance
Persons found guilty of violating these Nigerian traffic regulations by driving uninsured vehicles on public roads face a fine of N2 000, a 6-month prison sentence, or both.
Vehicles must be covered following the Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act, 2004.
Driving a car with falsified or phony insurance papers is illegal and punishable by a fine of N2, 000 or 6 months in jail, or both.
If you’re driving a vehicle on a public road in Nigeria, you can only use sirens, flashers, or beacon lights if you’re driving a vehicle that is owned or controlled by a federal or state government official, as well as if you’re a state or local government official.
10. Following Traffic Light Signals.
There is a price to pay for disobeying traffic light warnings. A tragic accident could occur if these warnings are ignored, which is why they are so important. To put things in perspective, it is considered a grave offense.
11. Being on road without light or faulty lights and reflector signals.
Lights and reflectors on some automobiles need to be replaced. Nigeria traffic regulations make it mandatory that all vehicles should be road-worthy, and this includes having signs that inform the driver in front of you of your next turn, for instance.
This is especially critical at night when vision is reduced and everything. If you don’t have it, you could get into some difficulty.
12. Learning Vehicle without Learner’s Permit, Driver’s License, or any other Permit required by Law.
Learning to drive without a valid driver’s license/permit learner’s is illegal. A road safety marshal must be able to see a driver’s license. Not possessing ‘vehicle particulars’ can get you in trouble as well.
13. Driving a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol.
Traffic marshals will detain you and issue you a fine if you commit this infraction. You may not operate a motor vehicle if you are intoxicated or under the influence of any drugs. Such motorists are a threat to everyone on the road, including themselves.
14. Driving Without a Spare Tyre
Driving without a spare or with a worn-out tyre is illegal. Not only is this unsafe, but it’s also illegal. Extra tyres allow for speedy replacement of worn, punctured, or torn tyres, especially on lonely roads.
15. Using G.S.M Phone while Driving.
This is a rule many drivers break. It has caused several road accidents, and traffic cops despise it.
A new study found that using a cell phone while driving causes 1.6 million car accidents annually.
Every year, almost 390,000 people are injured in car accidents caused by texting while driving.
16. Always Use Your Seat Belt
This Nigerian traffic regulation is for driver and passengers’ safety, although many drivers ignore it. Not using a seat belt will get you in trouble with the Nigerian traffic corps.
17. Avoid Roads Designated as ‘One Way’ or ‘No Entry’
To beat traffic, many drivers have developed the habit of using ‘one way’ or ‘no entry’ routes.
Traffic corps are usually harsh with offenders who break this particular driving rule. Taking a ‘one-way’ road could result in a high fine in many states.
18. Driving without Extinguisher
Car owners are expected to have fire extinguishers in their cars in case of an emergency fire-outbreak situation.
19. Driving without a Tinted Permit
Owners of tinted vehicles should obtain a tinted permit before using a tinted vehicle.
20. Failure to Carry Warning Cones or Triangles
Vehicle owners should have cones-shaped or triangle-shaped caution signs. This is used in case of a car breakdown or a demanding situation.
List of Nigerian Road Traffic Agencies
There are many road traffic agencies in Nigeria, some federal, others state-based. Here are some Nigerian road traffic agencies.
1. Metropolitan Area Transport Authority
The Metropolitan area transport authority is one of the several road traffic authorities in the country, and it is normally found in states, never at the federal level.
The metropolitan area transport authority plans and coordinates transportation in the metropolitan cities, assisting in the formation of transportation policy, coordination of major operational and investment choices, as well as implementation.
2. State Traffic Management Authority
The State Traffic Management Authority is a state-based road traffic organization established with the express goal of building a regulatory culture.
The state traffic management authority is likewise charged with controlling and managing traffic operations in states, and it is supposed to act to guarantee smooth traffic flow on state roadways.
3. Traffic Compliance and Enforcement (TRACE)
One of Nigeria’s traffic agencies is traffic compliance and enforcement. The agency was founded to manage all activity on Nigerian roadways, whether automotive or pedestrian, to maintain a free flow of traffic.
Traffic compliance and enforcement is responsible for regulating, controlling, and maintaining all state and federal highways.
The agencies are genuinely offering social services to the nation, which are capital intensive.
In reality, the government cannot control road traffic alone, which is why several road traffic agencies have stepped in to help, and road traffic management is simply a joint obligation of all Nigerians.
4. The National Emergency Management Agency of Nigeria (NEMA)
The national emergency management agency NEMA is a Nigerian traffic agency. This agency was created by Act 12 and amended by Act 50 of 1999.
The Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was founded to manage disasters in the country, notably road transportation disasters.
Since its inception, National Emergency Management Agency has worked tirelessly to combat disaster-related challenges by developing concrete structures and realistic procedures.
Some of these actions were to educate the public to raise awareness and mitigate disaster consequences in Nigeria.
5. Federal Road Safety Corps
Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) is a statutory government agency responsible for road safety administration in the country.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) operates in all federation states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Abuja.
In Nigeria, the Federal Road Safety Corps is the principal agency for road safety administration and management. Among the agency’s statutory duties are:
- To safeguard the safety of motorists and other road users on the highway.
- To ensure a respectable highway by checking every car on Nigerian highways
- To recommend works and infrastructures that will help eliminate or reduce accidents on Nigerian highways
- To educate motorists and road users, including the general public, on the importance of self-discipline while driving. In this instance, highway road discipline is vital.
6. Motor Vehicle Administration Agency
The motor vehicle administration agency is another road traffic agency working in the country, particularly in Nigeria’s states.
The traffic agency was to offer a solid motor vehicle administration database, maintain this information, and ensure corporate and public sector engagement to improve revenue production.
The Nigerian Traffic Offences, Penalties, and Fines
Ignorance of the law does not serve as an excuse. You must familiarize yourself with the rules of the road and the guiding Nigerian traffic regulations before you get behind the wheel.
To prevent road accidents, arrests, and prosecution, all road users must be disciplined, attentive, and mindful to others on the road, as provided for in Section 10(4) of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) establishment act, 2007.
- If you ignore traffic lights in Nigeria, you’re guilty of a serious crime.
- It is an infraction to ride through locations where the road markings are against the law. All of those road markings aren’t just for show; they serve a purpose to alert you to potential hazards.
- Illegal usage of light reflectors sends the wrong message to other people and drivers.
- Illegal to drive on a road that has been posted as No Access or Construction.
- Another crime is ignoring the speed restriction signs on the road.
As a good citizen who wants to see our society in the greatest possible condition by adhering to the Nigerian traffic regulations.
Not only does this benefit the community, but it also protects you from any unneeded embarrassment on the part of enforcement agencies.
5 Importance of Nigerian Traffic Regulations
1. To Reduce the Occurrence of Road Accidents and Injuries
Traffic rules and signs are vital for road safety. There are various hazards on the road that can injure and endanger drivers.
Traffic laws and safety indicators assist lower this danger and the likelihood of accidents.
Speed limit signs, stop signs and give way signs help prevent accidents by limiting traffic flow and speed.
2. To Make the Road Safe for Other Road Users
Road users include more than just drivers. Cyclists and pedestrians are among the road users who rely on traffic signs and regulations.
Pedestrian crossing signs inform pedestrians of safe crossing locations and alert cars to pedestrians’ presence.
In order to share the road safely, cyclists rely on many of the same rules and signs as automobiles.
It’s important to know and follow the various road safety signs. This is why Nigerian traffic regulations are so vital.
3. They Provide Consistent Rules
Consistently communicating rules ensure that all road users are aware of and can follow them. There is less uncertainty on the road when everyone knows the regulations. Inconsistent rules make it difficult for drivers to know what to do.
While consistency in rules does not guarantee compliance, it does help preserve overall order and safety.
4. To Make the Flow of Traffic Easier and Lighter
Traffic flow is critical for both safety and efficiency. Many cities have heavy traffic, which signage and rules can help control.
Traffic signs help to ease traffic flow and prevent accidents in high traffic. These include giving way, roundabout, and U-turn signs.
5. They’re Important for New Drivers
Driving can be second nature to expert drivers, but new or inexperienced drivers must learn to understand every traffic sign and traffic law. Most drivers have a few typical routes and don’t give much thought to the street signs they see.
Inexperienced drivers will have to rely on street and traffic signals to navigate.
Adhering to these Nigerian traffic regulations will save you the stress of being fined or going through a jail term.