People tend to forget just how vast and well-populated Nigeria actually is with numbers exceeding 206 million and it is still growing rapidly. These numbers are quite overwhelming if you ask me, considering Nigeria is a country that is still on a painstakingly gradual increasing curve in aspects of development.
This is despite being regarded as one of the wealthiest nations in West Africa. The population also means there is a greater presence of cars. This also means drivers are faced with sometimes paying the heaviest fines for traffic violations in Nigeria.
There are dozens of traffic violations you can be found guilty of
Traffic in big cities like Lagos
An exorbitant population size coupled with a developing economy comes with a lot of challenges as seen in places like Lagos which is the most populated state in Nigeria and the city with the worst traffic congestion in Nigeria.
You would agree with me that the human and motor traffic in Lagos (for those that have been there) is an outright nightmare- It can seem like the stuff from a horror movie if you're the claustrophobic type.
Video: Moves to reduce traffic chaos in Nigeria's largest city
Although Lagos gets the cake for having the most hellish traffic in Nigeria, other states in this country are no saints as gridlocks are frequently experienced nationwide. This gridlocked traffic, which keeps getting worse by the day is an obvious indication of the growing number of people that make use of automobiles in Nigeria.
Abuja just like Lagos is a fast developing urban center. It is no longer unusual to see lines of cars stretching as far as the eyes can see in the outlying districts like Kubwa, Nyanya, and Dutse. That is because people need to get to their places of work in city centers. They do so by using the best commute cars from their homes to work each day.
Why traffic laws?
There is an overwhelming influx of cars plying the Nigerian roads these days. It's no wonder that an increase in traffic comes with the overcrowding of the roadways. This often will result in significant traffic violations as most people don't seem to be conversant with the rules and regulations of the road being used on a daily basis.
These traffic laws are there to ensure that drivers respect the rights of their fellow road users and also make safety a priority whenever an automobile is in consideration.
FRSC oversees roads
In Nigeria, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) is entrusted with the responsibilities of road safety administration. They're charged with ensuring that every car user sticks to the traffic rules and regulations.
Rules and regulations include adhering to speed limits, not using earpieces when driving, driving codes, and obedience to road signs in Nigeria. Inevitably, some drivers will choose to act in a manner that contravenes the laid down rules of engagement on the roads. Hence, stipulated fines are attached to these laws to deter disobedience and prevent bad driving. Also, remember that bad and risky driving can cause injury and death.
The FRSC is the nation's premier road regulatory agency
In this Naijauto article, we shall give you an insight on some of the more serious violations followed by its corresponding fines which are usually on the heavy side.
1. Assault on a traffic officer
A physical attack on any officer of the law is wholly frowned upon in Nigeria as this violation attracts a huge fine of ₦100,000 with additional compensation paid to the affected officer.
2. Driving without full light on
Car headlights are an important car fixture. You don't need to use the latest headlights in 2020 to ensure good illumination at night. You should never drive without your car's full light switched on at night as it can be a very risky venture. Breaking this rule will attract a fine of ₦50,000.
3. Driving under the influence of alcoholic/drugs
It is a serious offense to drive while intoxicated. This is risky seeing that it can lead to a very serious collision with other vehicles or even pedestrians on the road but still it is one of the most common traffic or driving penalties in Nigeria. A fine of ₦100,000 must be paid by the offender if found guilty of such an offense.
4. Operating vehicle within restricted routes or beyond the approved hour
Operating a vehicle during a curfew when movement is prohibited or driving in areas with driving restrictions can attract unfavorable repercussions. The penalty for the aforementioned violation is a fine of ₦50,000 with an additional forfeit of vehicles in some cases.
5. Willful obstruction on the highway
The purposeful hindrance of the movement of other vehicles on the highway attracts a fine of ₦50,000 in addition to the cost of towing the vehicle.
6. Abandoned vehicle on the highway
This is one of the most incriminating traffic law violations. The penalty for this is the huge sum of ₦500,000 plus an additional 3 months of a prison sentence.
7. Bullion Van driving in a direction prohibited by law
Another extra-heavy fine awaits offenders. The penalty is the forfeiting of the vehicle with additional payment in fines of ₦500,000.
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8. Parking or stopping to pick passengers by a commercial vehicle on the highway
The fine of ₦50,000 attached to this offense pertains to both the driver and passenger alike.
9. Wrongful overtaking of other vehicles
The penalty given to these offenders varies depending on how many times it is committed. A first offender is to pay a fine of ₦50,000, while a subsequent offender will pay ₦100,000.
10. Exceeding the speed limit
Doing this puts both your life and the lives of others at risk as it could result in an accident. It attracts a fine of ₦100,000.
Don't wanna be stopped by road officers? Stay law-abiding
11. Riding a motorcycle against traffic or the curb
It is not unusual to see an okada man driving against traffic or on the curb on Nigerian roads. This may be due to traffic gridlocks and congestion. Doing that though is seen as a crime under the Nigerian traffic law and a fine of ₦50,000 is to be paid by a 1st offender, while a repeat offender pays ₦100,000.
12. Medical personnel rejection of road accident victim
A road accident victim could be an injured person in need of help or even a corpse on the road. The refusal to attend to a road accident victim by medical personnel will immediately attract a fine of ₦50,000.
13. Towing an empty Trailer or Tanker
Towing a Trailer or Tanker is actually an illegal activity in Nigeria as anyone caught engaged in this usually has to pay a fine of ₦50,000.
14. Towing a loaded Trailer or Tanker
Anyone seen towing a Trailer or Tanker is to pay a fine of ₦100,000.
15. Towing loaded Tippers and Lorries
The penalty for this offense is the total fine of ₦100,000.
The FRSC uses modern equipment to police the roads
16. Towing Luxurious Buses
Carrying out this illegal activity attracts a fine of ₦50,000.
17. Towing an Overnight Breakdown (trailer)
This venture pulls a fine of ₦100,000.
The aforementioned violations should be duly noted and avoided so as not to fall into the hands of traffic officers who are there to enforce the adherence to road traffic rules.
Lastly, knowledge as we all know is power, so having all these at the back of one's mind is something you should be keen on. This will surely go a long way in helping you avoid some unnecessary spending and embarrassing encounters with so-called officers on the road. That way you don't pay the heaviest fines for traffic violations in Nigeria.
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