If you’re one of those people looking to get a vehicle, for the sole purpose of cruising around town, without any knowledge of traffic laws, then this is for you. A lot of Nigerians are used to disobeying the traffic laws, and this is mostly a result of the fact that a lot of individuals have no idea about the existence of the traffic rules in Nigeria. We can blame it on ignorance, but when the law clamps down on you and you are found guilty of disobeying any traffic rule, best believe that your ignorance would not prevent you from getting the full wrath of the law. Here’s a list of some traffic offences in Nigeria and their punishments.
- Driving underage
Driving underage is considered an offence in Nigeria. In Lagos, the accepted age of driving is 18 years and above. If you are caught driving under the age of 18 years, the penalty is a sum of thirty thousand Naira (30,000).
- Disobeying a LASTMA official
LASTMA (Lagos State Management Agency Officer) is the unit in charge of ensuring the obedience of the traffic laws in Lagos. A lot of people try to avoid the LASTMA officials because these officers are thorough when it comes to doing their jobs. If you disobey a LASTMA official, you are subject to paying a fine of Thirty thousand Naira (30,000) or the impounding of your vehicle.
- Driving with worn-out tires
If there’s one thing you should know about driving in Lagos, you don’t drive for just yourself alone, you consider other motorists on the road as well. Driving with worn-out tires could cause harm not just to you but to others and if found to disobey this law, you’re subject to a thirty thousand Naira (30,000) fine.
- Driving without a Driver’s license
What is the first thing a LASTMA official or policeman asks you, the minute you’re stopped on the road? A Driver’s license is a form of identification, it shows who you are and proves that the vehicle you’re driving is yours. When an officer stops and asks for your license, he/she is well within their right and f you’re found driving without a license, your vehicle would be impounded.
- Driving with a fake Driver’s license
Forgery is generally a criminal offense in Nigeria. Having a fake document tells that you’re trying to hide your incompetence even though you might be an expert. If you’re caught with a fake Driver’s license, you’re subject to a period of 6 months imprisonment.
- Driving with an inappropriate vehicle color
This is for cab drivers, who drive the popular yellow and black cabs around Lagos. Your cab is expected to be black and yellow, if you’re seen driving with the cab painted only yellow, you’ll be charged with a fine of (eighty thousand Naira) 80,000 and must paint the vehicle the appropriate color.
- Smoking/Drinking alcohol while Driving
This offence comes with a penalty of twenty thousand Naira (20,000) for a first offender and thirty thousand Naira (30,000) for a subsequent offender. It also comes with an additional 3 months imprisonment or 6 months community service.
Other Traffic offences in Nigeria include;
- Texting or reading while driving
- Making calls while driving
- Resisting arrest
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Driving without full light
- Driving a tinted vehicle without a tinted permit
- Driving without a fire extinguisher
- Driving without a spare Tyre
- One way driving
A lot of these offences come with a penalty between twenty thousand to hundred thousand Naira. They also come with community service or imprisonment of at least 3 months. No one likes to give out extra cash not planned for, get his/her vehicle impounded, or end up in prison for something easily avoided. Learn the traffic rules in your state and strive to keep them.