As a driver in Nigeria, knowing all street corners in every part of the city isn’t enough to make you a smart one. There are some road officers that you really need to be wary of. If by any chance you commit road blunder, they will milk you to the bone. That is why it is important to understand and master road signs, traffic rules and safe driving techniques so as not to fall prey to these road officers. And when you know their roles, it will help a lot when dealing with them especially if they are trying to extort you. Once they sense any sign of ignorance in you, you have definitely become their Christmas package.
Don’t get us wrong, we are not saying they should remove these traffic officers from the street to allow you drive as you like. They are put on the road for a several reasons, among which is to safeguard lives of people that could be inhibited by reckless driving. When you understand their roles, you will be able to avoid some embarrassments that thy might legally cause you. Naijauto has therefore identified the functions and roles of LASTMA, FRSC AND VIO on Nigerian roads.
1. Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA)
This is a state owned traffic agency and was founded in 2000. It was a millennium effort of the Lagos State government to bring more sanity to Lagos roads, especially the pre-millennium multiple road accidents in the state. Lagos drivers are always scared when they sight LASTMA officers on the road due to their resilient and strict nature to deal ruthlessly with reckless drivers in the state. However we cannot rule out the nature of some LASTMA officers going beyond their jurisdiction in order to extort road users. This is why it is a must you know their functions or legal duties on the road.
LASTMA officers are effectively curbing reckless driving common with commercial drivers in Lagos
Duties and functions of LASTMA:
- Install and maintain traffic control devices on the Lagos highways.
- Develop a culture of regulation, control and management of state traffic operations.
- Manage, control and regulate traffic related issues within Lagos cities.
- Collaborate with other agencies especially those that prevent highway accidents
- Carry out investigation on drivers’ road behaviour and safety.
- Enlighten and inform the drivers on the effective way of using the highway.
- Advise and give suggestion on how to maintain safety on the road.
- Help in accident and traffic management.
2. Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS)
This is mostly known as VIO in Nigeria. It is a state traffic regulated agency that ensures presence of sound vehicles on the road. The agency is a directorate of Ministry of Transportation.
Once you sight this vehicle along the road, the VIOs are around
Functions of VIS:
- Inspect the vehicles on the roads.
- Collaborate with other related bodies to ensure and enforce traffic rules and obedience.
- Join effort with other related bodies to prevent accidents on the highway.
- Ensure that there is a swift emergency response.
- Take charge of issuing certificate of road worthiness to car owners.
- Train and give test to applicants for driver’s license.
- Carry out an investigation and carry out accident reports on vehicles.
- Keep registry of issued or revoked certificates.
3. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)
Established in 1988, this federal road agency has been in town for quite a long time and they have the statutory duties of administering road safety in Nigeria. You should be rest assured to see FRSC officers present in your state. They have presence in all the states of the federal and also the Federal Capital Territory. That is why this agency at the top of the ladder when it comes to traffic regulation and management in Nigeria.
The FRSC officers are very equipped, avoid getting involved in a hot chase with them
Functions and duties of FRSC in Nigeria
- Ensure that the highway is safe for motorists and other road users.
- Check worthiness of vehicle on the road in order to minimize road accidents.
- Recommend devices that will prevent or eliminate accidents on the roads.
- Eradicate any form of obstruction present on the highway.
- Inform and sensitize the general public on the proper way of using the highway
- Take charge of designing driving licenses issued to all competent drivers.
- Be responsible for listing out driver’s license requirements to be met.
- Be responsible for the standardization of highway traffic codes.
- Take care of designing and making of vehicle registration number plate.
- Respond swiftly to road accidents victims.
- Provide free treatment for road accident victims.
- Carry out investigation on the reasons and how road accidents can be prevented.
- Enforce and maintain speed limit for all road users.
- Enforce the use of seat belt by all motorists.
- Ensure proper use of mobile phone on the highway while driving.
- Collaborate with other related traffic agencies in eradicating all forms of accidents on the highway.
- Make sure that people do not use sirens, beacon light and flashers except registered agencies or government owned agencies such as the Nigerian Armed Forces, Police force, ambulance and other emergency agencies or paramilitary bodies.
- Regulate the use of motorcycles on the highway.
- Take charge of stating the expiration or validity of issued Driver’s license and renewal.
- Arrest and prosecute any road user found guilty of disobeying any of the traffic rules or laws.
Now that you know the roles and functions of all states and federal traffic regulated agencies in the country, you do not have reason to fall their victim. It is not shocking to see some traffic agencies performing functions or duties that are not within their jurisdiction especially when they are trying to have their way with you. Be informed and don’t drag with them for your safety. Avoid being chased down, corporate with them and settle any matter without violence.
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