Bewildered with roads signs in Nigeria? Does the sign with an arrow pointing left mean I can turn left or I must turn left? Why are there different shapes and colors of them? Well, it is understandable that you are confused by those driving road signs. No worry, it is not as complicated as you might think once you finish this article. Let's join Naijauto and explore!
1. What is traffic signal?
To put it simply, traffic signals are symbolized, illustrative guidance for road users for safer and more convenient traveling. It doesn’t matter you drive a car, ride a bike or just walk, it is mandatory that you obey all the traffic signals in Nigeria as they are definitely not decorators of urban design. Nor are they there for your reference. They were born to stay and be conformed to.
2. Road traffic signs in Nigeria
Given our high rate of road accidents, you might be surprised that road traffic signs in Nigeria cover every guidance you need down the road, be it traffic regulations, special hazards and other road conditions, or construction areas speed limits.
Types of road signs
It might look countless when it comes to road symbols used in Nigeria, but actually, we can classify them into 3 main types of road signs based on their main purposes. A large number of these road signals are influenced by international regulations for traffic signs, particularly MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) of the United States.
Signs are the simple illustration of law and substitutes for traffic management officers
The first and foremost symbols you must stick to are regulatory signs which could be prohibitory or showing directions. Should you refuse to follow these regulations, our respectful policemen will certainly call you upon for a severe fine.
Next come the warning signs, reminding you of road dangers ahead. Neglecting these kind reminders means you’re ignoring your own life.
The last but not least markings are informative signs which inform vehicles of specific places, road conditions, road construction sites or speed limits for particular areas. No one is gonna punish you for not paying attention to these signals but you might waste the whole day looking for a place instead of referring to those road signs.
Is it now a bit clearer about types of road signs available in Nigeria for you now?
LEARN TRAFFIC SIGNS | ROAD SIGNS WITH MEANINGS FOR KIDS AND ALL
3. List of road signs and their meanings
3.1. Regulatory traffic signs: the must-obey
Regulatory traffic signs are to control the traffic flow as well as ensure the road safety. Strictly follow these orders and you can save either your life or money.
Usually, these signs are designed in circular shape, divided into 2 types with distinctive features that are easy to spot.
3.1.1. Don’t you dare? - Prohibitory signs
Of course these signs are to prohibit you from doing something. Prohibitory signs are mostly circles, painted in red and yellow colors. Usually, the banned objects are written in the center with a diagonal line crossing through.
Below are typical road signals with names you probably encounter:
Prohibitory symbols as on stop signs are easy to spot
Can you deduce the rules in designing these traffic signs and symbols? Easy, isn't it?
Now take a look at these pictures of road signs with all meanings removed and self-check in your mind how many prohibitory signs you can figure out! As we will give correct answers right after, remember to hover on the photo till you finish naming all these symbols.
Road signs and symbols - Can you name all of these prohibitions?
Congratulations, you've completed the challenge! Below are the correct answers:
Number 1. Stop at intersection
Number 2. No entry for vehicles having axle load exceeding 8 metric tonnes
Number 3. No horn
Number 4. Close to all vehicles in both directions
Number 5. Stop police
Number 6. No entry for vehicles having overall width exceeding 2m
Number 7. Speed limit (maximum)
Number 8. No entry for pedal cycles
Number 9. No left turn
Number 10. No entry for lorries
Number 11. Derestriction sign
Number 12. No entry for all vehicles
Number 13. Parking prohibited (from 8:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m)
Number 14. No stopping
Number 15. Litter prohibited
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3.1.2. Mandatory road signs
Still in circular shape but covered in blue background without perimeter are mandatory road signs which typically give directions. The directions are usually noted in white.
As you may see below, all the directions are straight-forward and easy to understand.
Traffic signs and their meanings - Direction street signs look much more friendly than prohibitory category
3.2. Informative road signs
As their names reveal, these street signs for driving in Nigeria provide useful information on where you can look for a rest area, an airport or simply inform the status of roads/ areas ahead.
These markings are most variable in designs but often remaining uniform in rectangular shapes.
Pay close attention to their guidance to avoid time-consuming drive!
Road signs and their meaning - Usually, informative signs will write down names of roads, objects or places...
Warning road signs - the most important road safety signs, are often put in triangles with red borders. There’s only one exception with inverted triangular shape which requires drivers to give way.
Because these warnings are of great importance for drivers, we will let you have a quick look through common signs with their names noted underneath before checking your memory.
Road signs and their meanings - Warning signs are mostly painted in hot color to alert dangers
It's high time to review what you've just read. We will just pick several typical warnings for a quick check.
Answers will be noted after the series of unnamed road signs.
Road signs with names
What meanings do these sign convey?
3...2...1. Time's up!
The first should be easy for all of you as this is one of the most basic traffic signs in every country. It indicates pedestrian crossing ahead, so you are supposed to slow down then stop before the zebra line.
The second sign demonstrates a car veering due to wet road. Yes, it is the warning for upcoming slippery road. Neglecting this notice, you and your car may end up lying still somewhere along the streets.
The third one seems to be clear-cut with instructions: "Reduce speed now" but the illustration above it is not exactly a speed limit sign. It is the marking for uneven roads.
Finally, we come to the warning for dangerous double bend. However, this illustration can't even express the hazard of some Nigerian roads like this:
A photo of curving roads on Obudu mountain in Nigeria
Needless to say, you should note down all these road signs in Nigeria and their meanings in your handbook so that you can check them everytime you travel on road. Should you miss a regulatory sign and be called upon by police officers, show them your road sign manual at least to prove your effort in learning them, then promise not to take your eyes off road next time!\
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Information source: highwaycode.com.ng & naija.ng