Accidents are some of those things we don't plan for.
However, they sometimes find a way to happen either as a result of our actions or other people's wrong judgment or possible negligence.
At some other times, we may not be involved in the accident directly but only witnessed it. Either way, there are specific laws that have been put in place to help guide our actions at such times and you can be sent to prison if you don't do what you are supposed to do when you witness an accident in Nigeria.
One very common behavior Nigerians usually display is the care-free attitude when they witness an accident, a behavior that is against specific road traffic laws signs in Nigeria.
There are basic things you are expected to do when you witness an accident or even when you get involved in an accident no matter how minor the event is.
It is your statutory responsibility to the society and the country to fulfill this duty when you witness an accident and there are penalties that may end up in penal prosecution if you fail to deliver on them. This article seeks to bring to light this statutory responsibility expected of every citizen who witnesses an accident.
It is your duty to always report every accident you witness
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Witnessed an accident? This is what you are expected to do!
In Nigeria, you are expected by certain traffic rules and regulations to report an accident as fast as possible to the relevant institutions and authorities.
The FRSC Establishment Act of 2007, section 10 subsection 4 and section 28 subsection 2, as well as the national road traffic regulations NRTR number 220 of 2012 makes clear the following:
A driver who is involved in a crash or sees a crash, but fails to report the crash to FRSC and/or other appropriate authorities shall be held liable for an offense of failure to report road crash.
From the above, the position of the law when it comes to reporting an accident is succinctly clear. You are expected to report an accident whether you like it or not. If you like, then you are free of blame, if you don't like to then be prepared to face the law if you are caught.
To put this in perspective and help us understand how serious the offense is, the Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC puts these traffic violations in category One with a 10 points penalty.
A look at the 37 FRSC stated offenses shows only 8 of those come with 10 point penalty, which includes serious offenses like reckless driving (careless driving) and attempting to corrupt a road marshal.
In fact, the FRSC stipulates a fine of about N20,000 as a penalty for this offense, the second-highest fine in the FRSC offense sheet. Failure to pay this fine might result in legal prosecution proceedings being initiated against you by the FRSC, which can land you in jail for an upwards of 2 months.
So the next time you witness an accident, make sure you act like a responsible Nigerian citizen and do the right thing by reporting that accident to FRSC, the police, or VIO.
For FRSC, their toll-free number for reporting an accident is 122, and it is always a wise cause to have a police emergency number handy every time in case of incidents like this spring.
Also remember that it is our responsibility to educate others who may not know about this, make it your job to tell as many persons as possible. Remember that the FRSC will always issue you a traffic speeding ticket when you Overspeed. To conclude this article, we will share tips on what to do in an event you witness an accident.
FRSC toll-free line for accident reporting is 122
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What to do when you witness an accident in Nigeria
1. Park and Assess the situation
If you witness an accident whether you are a passing pedestrian or driving in your own car, it is important that you stop or pull over and you ensure that you do so safely to avoid exposing yourself to probable traffic dangers.
So, find a safe place not so far away from the accident scene and park your car carefully. The next thing is to carefully assess the situation and if it feels safe enough, you can then approach the accident scene. We think it is also wise if you learn more about Reverse Parking with ease in a tight space! which will be helpful if you're trying to park your car safely and properly on busy roads.
It is important that you assess the situation carefully before approaching the accident scene, this is to ensure that you avoid being a further victim of an already not so good situation. Most accident scenes are usually fire and explosion hotspot mainly as a result of leaking petrol which poses serious dangers to you irrespective of your good intentions. Moreso, some accident scenes are also crime scenes, thus you would want to tread carefully even as you do as much as possible to help the accident victims.
Note: If it is not an accident scene, please thread carefully. We usually advise that you do not stop to offer help if you feel something is not right about the person asking for help especially if it is on a lonely highway.
It is better advised that you should drive to where there is a police post and make a report that there is a stranded motorist in need of assistant or just call FRSC on their toll-free line and report a case of a stranded motorist.
For more on this, see the article How to avoid being robbed while driving on the highway
2. Report the Incident immediately
After carefully assessing the accident scene and possibly offering as much help as you possibly can, the next thing is to seek professional help from first responders like the FRSC, police, or even an ambulance service if you think it's necessary. It is important that you must remain at the scene until the police arrive before leaving, as this will aid the police and the accident investigation bureau with the findings.
Please Note: If you don't have prior first aid training, please try not to administer any medical procedure as this might cause more harm than good and you may just end up being prosecuted over the help you trying to offer, rather place an emergency call to the relevant first responders.
Only administer first aid if you've received prior training
3. Make notes of what you witnessed
This is another very important step you must take seriously especially if you were the first to arrive at the accident scene. Please be sure to make a mental note of the accident scene and everything as you met it. If you think you will forget, it's best you put it down in writing to avoid mixing things up when the police arrive to take your statement especially if its a possible crime scene.
We are certain this article that covers What to do when you witness an accident in Nigeria will wake some persons up to their responsibility and make them better citizens. Don't forget you can be sent to prison if you don't do these.
Moreover, this is our country and we must do everything rightfully possible to make it a better place. Change begins with you and me!!! Always report an accident!!!. Make sure you obey road traffic laws in Nigeria as well as traffic laws for bicycles and Speed limits.
The following video is very helpful too and you should view it!
Video: What to do after a car accident