For you to drive effectively in Nigeria, there are 5 basic essential rules to note. Please be warned that they cannot be found in our highway code.
1. Beware of Pedestrian Bridges:
They are for flying insects because you will definitely see people running across the road while for the most part, the bridge remains empty.
I have also noted that more than 90% of pedestrian bridges in Nigeria do not have ramps for the physically challenged. So expect to see someone in a wheelchair crossing the road (Oops,,,, I forgot, we don’t have poor physically challenged people here, they all have their own private cars with chauffeurs)
2. Use your Hazard lights at a junction:
When you are at a 4-way junction(especially one without a roundabout), you trafficate left while going left; right while turning right and then you put on your hazard lights if you’re going sraight. I must confess that at a point I thought it was part of the Highway Code.
3. Beware of traffic on your Right and Left:
I know the book says: give way to traffic on your left…. But you should have it in your consciousness that the person on your Right isn’t going to give way, especially at roundabouts. Just drive as if you are all struggling for who has Right of Way because its the first struggler whose bonnet enters the road that has right of way, shikena.
4. In traffic, always kiss the vehicle in front:
You know all those things in the Highway Code about leaving some space between you and the car infront incase it rolls back; its not feasible. You must always leave no space between you and the car infront unless you want to be (chased) out of the line. I promise you that buses and rickety taxis who weren’t in line will not only enter infront of you but you will be manoeuvred out of the line in no time and soon you will find yourself begging to be allowed back in the cue or worse still, those traffic officials will come to tax you for causing disorder.
5. All big trucks do not have functional BRAKES:
This is the last but most important rule; you must assume that the brakes in those big trucks (911s, container carrying trucks) do not work unless you want to become part of the unwritten statistics.
So for your own and your passengers wellbeing: make a conscious effort to never stay infront of or behind a big truck especially the fuel carrying tankers. Give them enough room.
Feel free to add your own rules abegi……