Nigeria Highway Code Signs and Fundamental Rules for Overtaking


Posted by: Hassana Obi

Share this post:

Latest news articles

Check our article out to get Nigeria highway code signs and the rules for your next-time overtaking.

Driving a car is no easy task. Most drivers make a habit of overtaking vehicles that are in their front view. However, this might be a source of danger if the drivers fail to take proper control over their vehicles. According to the Nigeria Highway Code Signs, overtaking should follow certain rules to keep the driving safe. By this article, Naijauto would like to help you with how to properly overtake on the highways.  

Below are different situations and on-road elements you should pay attention to while driving on expressways where there are a bunch of causes of road accident in Nigeria.

Highway Code Rules: Look-Signal-Look and Move

Rule 1: Check the view first

All vehicles entering the fast roads are at high speeds and they may be faster than you think. So, check the front, side and rear view from your car and make sure that the lane you intend to go into is clear enough for a safe distance both in front and behind your vehicle, then just overtake.

Passing Rules | Driving Lessons

Rule 2: Should I overtake on the right?

Remember that overtaking should be done on the left except for the following situations:

  • When the front driver gives a signal to notice that he will turn left, then you can pass his vehicle on the right. But don’t go too fast and watch out carefully in case the motorist just wrongly turn his signals or he changes his intention to keep going straight or turn right.
  • When you need to turn right and have turned signals on to notice other vehicles.
  • When you are in a slow-moving traffic and the left vehicles move more slowly than you
  • When running on one-way streets, overtaking on the left or the right are no problem.

>>> Installing a speed limiting device is made compulsory by FRSC. Check out Speed limiting device prices in Nigeria & list of accredited vendors

Turn on car signal

Overtaking on the right when you need to turn right and have turned signals on to notice other vehicles

Rule 3: Parked Vehicles

On a normal two-lane road or no matter what road worthiness, if you intend to pass parked vehicles or other obstacles on your right side of the highway, remember to give way to the vehicle approaching you before passing.

Sometimes, there are two vehicles are parking parallel (an illegal act) or some obstructions like potholes, mounds of garbage or road work hinder both road’s sides. In these cases, motorists moving forwards are often in a dilemma that they don’t know who will/should go first. And a wise solution is that you let the other go.

The general rule is that the car that has a longer distance from the fixtures should reduce its speed or stop to let the nearest vehicle go ahead.

However, sometimes this can be harmoniously considered and agreed among drivers to let who go first. Don’t make a collision just because of a lane to go or any types of road.

Rule 4: Cutting in

Once you have been ready to overtake, move through the car you are passing as fast as you can. Leave it enough space to go on. Then move to the right of the lane as soon as possible, but without cutting in.

Remember to keep a safe distance between your car and the front vehicle, don’t go too close to the overtaken cars or suddenly out to the left.

A car cutting in other vehicles

Don't cut in while overtaking

Rule 5: On being overtaken

Don’t be too hostile to accelerate when your vehicle is overtaken. Slow down and let the overtaking vehicle go ahead.

overtaking cars

Don’t be too hostile to accelerate when your vehicle is overtaken

When shouldn’t I overtake?

1. When you are driving on or near a bus station, a corner or bend, a pedestrian crossing, narrow roads or bridges, the crest of a hill or a level crossing.

2. When there is a “NO OVERTAKING” sign on the road.

3. When you are near or crossing the solid white lines.

Popular Highway Code Warning Signs

Highway Code Signs - Road work

Road Work - Warning Sign

Meaning: There are road workers ahead on or near your area.  

IMPORTANT: You should prepare for changed road conditions and slow down.

Highway Code Sign - T Junction

"T" Junction - Warning Sign

Meaning: Another road is about to enter the road you are traveling on.

IMPORTANT: You should watch out for traffic from that new road.


Long Grade Dangerous - Warning Sign

Meaning: There is a hill up ahead on the road you are driving on.

IMPORTANT: Making U-turns and passing other vehicles on hills is forbidden because of low visibility.


Slippery Surface - Warning Sign

Meaning: The roadway may be especially slick and hazardous when it is wet or raining.

IMPORTANT: You should take extra caution when driving.

Popular Highway Code Mandatory Signs


Direction to be Followed - Mandatory Sign

Meaning: Mandatory to follow the direction indicated by the arrow


2 Lane 2 Way Ahead - Mandatory Sign

Meaning: A road consisting of two opposing lanes of undivided traffic.


Popular Highway Code Prohibitory Signs

4 Lanes Undivided 2 Way Ahead - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: You are traveling from a divided road to an undivided road having two lanes for traffic in each direction


No Left Turn - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: Left turns are prohibited. You can either travel straight through or turn right.


No Right Turn - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: Right turns are prohibited. You can either travel straight through or turn left.


No "U" Turn - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: A U-turn in driving refers to performing a 180° rotation to reverse the direction of travel. This is a warning sign not to turn in the road to go in the opposite direction.

Overtaking Prohibited

Overtaking Prohibited - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: This is a warning sign not to go past another slower moving vehicle traveling in the same direction.


No Entry for Vehicles having Axle Load Exceeding 8 MT - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: No goods vehicles over maximum gross weight shown.



No Entry for Vehicles having Overall Width Exceeding 2 meters - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: The regulatory sign shows a maximum vehicle width on the highway system.


Speed Limit Maximum - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: The number shown is the limit of speed allowed when you're driving on the highway


Close to All Vehicles in Both Directions - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: This is a prohibitory road in both two directions.

No Stopping

No Stopping - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: Keep driving only. You can stop only to obey a traffic sign, signal or officer or to prevent conflicts with other vehicles.


General Danger - Prohibitory Sign

Meaning: Approach a dangerous area such as: narrowing road, a train crossing without barrier, or an upcoming pedestrian zone,...

Popular Highway Code Information Signs


>>> Click here to get more tips and advice for all car owners

Hassana Obi

Hassana Obi

Car prices

Hassana Obi is an automobile writer and editor at She prides herself on hundreds of informative and entertaining articles on Nigerian traffic regulations, car prices and celebrity car collections. When Hassana is not writing, she is a teacher and philanthropist.

See more