Sensible ways to avoid police delays as a Lagos driver

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Being delayed at a check point by the police, especially in Lagos, can disrupt your plans for the day. These tips on how to behave will make them let you go immediately!

Lagos is indeed a city amongst cities. There is a reason why it is known as the commercial hub of Nigeria. It is a happening place. If it is not in Lagos, it is most likely not in the whole of Nigeria. Majority of people troop into the city to get their own piece of the cake it offers. 

Just as we have the American dream, there is also the Lagos dream. Many Nigerians and foreigners alike are beneficiaries of the Lagos dream. With so much to offer, the roads of Lagos are always busy. One cannot finish counting the number of cars that ply roads across the city; you will get tired half way and stop.

There are traffic officials including police officers on most parts of the roads, coordinating activities of drivers. It is common for vehicles to get stopped for routine checkups. This can be very annoying especially if you are in a hurry to somewhere.

Naijauto is here to give you tips on how to avoid police delays in Lagos when driving in this city.

1. Have your complete papers

Hitting the road behind the wheels in Lagos without your complete vehicle particulars is a recipe for disaster. You are indirectly offering yourself to traffic officials to toss around. If your papers are not complete, respect yourself by taking commercial transport. There is Uber nowadays, so you can still enjoy your comfort.

Police-officers-on-duty

You definitely don't want to be detained by these people

The first thing police officers will ask you when pulled over is for you to show them your vehicle particulars. They expect you to hand the complete papers to them immediately. Any delay in doing this shows them that you have skeletons in your cupboard, and they will definitely bring them out. You can speak all the English Language in the books, if a single document is missing in your vehicle particulars, you are not moving an inch. Be prepared to spend all day with them.

But if your papers are complete, they will have nothing to hold against you.

>>> Refer to this post for further information: Detailed guidelines for Vehicle Particulars Renewal in Nigeria

2. Speak like an enlightened person

Police officers come across different people on a daily basis. By your first utterances, they can size you up and place you where they perceive you to belong.

First, you must ensure that you have your vehicle papers complete. With these in place, engage them like an enlightened person by speaking proper English Language. Do not raise your voice. If your papers are complete and they are still holding you, ask them why they are holding you when you have not done anything wrong. When they see that you know your rights, they will be quick to let you go without further delays.

3. Be respectful

Respect is reciprocal. You cannot expect to be respected by the police if you cannot show them some respect. These officers did not put themselves on the road to check vehicles. They are working in line with the law to secure lives and properties. They are doing their job, and you have to respect them for that.

Do not give off rude vibes. It is common knowledge that many Nigerians have little or no regard for police officers. When they sense that you are one of those people, they will tactfully delay you even if they have nothing to use against you.

Black-woman-driving

Be cordial and polite in speaking to them

Greet them cordially and address them with respect. But that is not to say that you should be too friendly. This could be taken as a cue to trample on your rights. Keep a straight face. Answer questions asked. If you feel they are going beyond their powers, calmly point this out to them. There is no need to undermine or insult them over something that could be handled with diplomacy, otherwise, they will intentionally delay you as punishment.

>>> Check out these tips! Nigerian police believe they help you avoid clash at checkpoints

4. Do not offer bribe

In an attempt to avoid being delayed, some drivers are quick to offer bribe to police officers at a check point. While this might work with some officers, it could get you into trouble with others. This is on the premise that – he who is quick to offer bribe has something to hide. If you are not hiding anything, allow them to do their job.

Bribing a police officer is a crime. When you offer bribe to them, you have committed a crime. They will go deeper to check you thoroughly and even try to make a case of it. Do not be too fast. Remain calm and watch them take the lead.

Bribing-nigerian-police-officer

Not all police officers are interested in taking bribe

5. Ask to speak to their superior in difficult situations

Sometimes, you might have issues with police officers when stopped. Junior officers are working under instructions from their superiors, and need to deliver. Engaging them might not yield positive results. Politely ask to speak with the most superior officer at the scene.

Superior officers tend to offer a more listening ear to drivers. Greet him/her accordingly, and explain the situation. There is a possibility that he/she will find a resolution to the issue better than the junior officers would have done.

>>> Always check for Safe driving tips and Latest traffic news on Naijauto.com!

Chris Odogwu is a freelance Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication (Public Relations and Advertising major) from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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