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Current Campaign – Cell Phones

The Dangers

  • Many drivers now recognise that cell phones are the biggest distraction while driving – more than time pressures, eating, drinking, using the radio or changing music.
  • In other countries, studies have shown that if you drive and use a cell phone you are four times more likely to have an accident.

Advice for Drivers

Even the most careful of drivers will be distracted by a phone call or text message – it affects concentration and anticipation. Here are some tips for drivers:

  • If you are driving, keep your phone switched off.  This is, by far, the safest approach.  Use your voicemail or message service to access missed calls when you are able to stop or at the end of your journey.
  • If you must use your phone while travelling, always stop in a safe place, or equip your vehicle with a ‘hands-free‘ system.
  • Be aware that even when you use a ‘hands-free’ system, your mind will not be fully on driving but on the conversation, so keep calls as short as possible.

Links to other Road Safety Campaigns and Organizations

Johan Jonck maintains, an independent web site that gives an insight into road safety issues in South Africa.

The Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals

One of the main aims of the Association is to disseminate traffic safety information.  Its web site includes international traffic safety news.

Chevron Texaco (Nigeria)

Read about Chevron Texaco’s involvement in the Arrive Alive Safety Initiative on its web site.

Commission for Global Road safety

The Commission for Global Road Safety, led by the Right Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, has been established by the FIA Foundation with a remit to examine the framework for, and level of, international cooperation on road safety, and to make policy recommendations.


An international, European-based organization involved in testing the safety of motor cars, particularly their ability to protect occupants in an accident.  A ‘star’ rating system is used.

Federal Road Safety Commission (Nigeria)

Visit the FRSC web site at  The Federal Road Safety Commission (Corps) has responsibilities for policymaking, organization and administration of road safety in Nigeria.

Global Road Safety

The mission of the Global Road Safety Steering Committee is to raise political will and encourage swift action to stop the epidemic of road traffic injuries that faces the world.  The Committee is sponsored a range of international businesses, arms of government, and the World Bank.

Harvard School of Public Health – Road Traffic Injuries and Health Equity Research Programme

A research programme that aims to identify road safety interventions that are cost-effective in reducing the burden of road traffic accident injuries and fatalities in low-income and middle-income countries.

International Road Safety News from Drive and Stay Alive, Inc.

Drive and Stay Alive, Inc compiles road safety news from around the world.  Their site was the recipient of the Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals “Best International Traffic Safety Website” award in June 2004.

International Web Site of iWalk (I Walk To School)

iWalk is an organization that focuses on the health benefits of walking to school and the need for a safe road traffic environment for young pedestrians.  Nigeria participated in the international walk to school week for the first time in 2003. As the vast majority of Nigerian pupils already walk to school, the aim of participation was to rally for safer and improved streets, and by so doing draw the attention of the government agencies and individuals to the need for more stringent enforcement of existing road traffic regulations.

La Prevention Routiere Internationale (PRI)

A Lisbon-based, international organization whose aim is to stop people being killed and injured by road traffic accidents. (At the start of December 2004 no Nigerian organization was a member of, or affiliated to, this body.)


PATVORA is a non-profit, non-governmental service organization dedicated to improving the safety of road users in Nigeria.  Originally setup to focus on getting prompt assistance for victims of road traffic accidents, PATVORA now addresses many aspects of road safety and accident prevention.

The Nigeria Police

Nigerian Government Web Site

Web site of the Nigerian Government, including the Ministry of Works which has responsibility for road building and maintenance.

The Pass – Helping Learner Drivers (UK site)

The Pass is a web site that focuses on road safety in the United Kingdom, and provides a useful resource to anyone who is planning to sit their driving test there.


RoadSafe is a partnership of leading companies in the motor and transport industries in Britain, the government and road safety professionals. Its aim is to further reduce deaths and injuries caused by road accidents and promote safer road use.

Safe Kids International

An organization aimed at preventing unintentional injury to children around the world, including helping avoid child deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.  (Member countries from the African continent are Uganda and South Africa. [Dec 2004])

World Health Organization – World Health Day 2004

World Health Day 2004 focused on road traffic accidents.  The following page describes associated African-based events, including road safety awareness initiatives in Nigeria.

Articles and Publications

DISCLAIMER:  This page contains links to several articles and discussions about Nigerian road safety that have appeared in the online press.  Road Safety Nigeria has not created these articles and does not necessarily support the opinions or views expressed in them.  No claims are made regarding the accuracy of the information presented in the articles.

‘Impatient Motorists Cause Accidents’

An article from a July 2006 edition of the The Sun focuses on driver impatience as a common contributor to road traffic accidents, especially those involving excessive speed.

‘Pregnancy outcome in women involved in road traffic accidents in Sokoto’

One of the worrying statistics presented by this paper from the Nigerian Journal of Surgical Research is that “Seventy seven percent of all admissions into one emergency medical centre in Lagos were due to road traffic accidents.”

‘Nigera and Global Road Safety’

In this article from August 2004 that originally appeared in the Daily Champion newspaper, Chude Charles Ojugbana summarises his views on the road safety issues affecting Nigerians.

‘Nigeria, Togo, Benin to Cooperate on Road Safety’

This afrol New Report from August 2004 describes how a new organization is being set up to coordinate road safety initiatives in West Africa.

FG Plans Review of Traffic Laws

This April 2004 report originating from the Vanguard newspaper examines the Federal Road Safety Commission’s intention to review the laws and regulations associated with various road safety issues including drink-driving.

‘Anatomy of a Lagos Traffic Jam’ – A Nigerian Village Square feature

This review by Shoko Loko Bangoshefrom August 2003 looks at the assorted varieties of traffic jam that can be encountered in Lagos.

‘Eye Tests for Lagos Bus Drivers’

A BBC report from March 2001 that describes how free eye tests were offered to the city’s commercial drivers.

An Encounter with Nigeria’s Traffic Police

On returning home to Nigeria after an absence of two years, BBC journalist Osasu Obayiuwana writes of his experiences with the traffic police.

‘On the Buses in Lagos’

A short BBC article from 2001 on the molues and danfos – the yellow buses that play an important part in the life of many Lagos inhabitants.

14th ICTCT Workshop – 2000

A paper entitled ‘Improved road traffic environment for better child safety in Nigeria’ was published by Joshua Adetunji Odeleye of the Nigerian Railway Corporation at the 14th Workshop of the ICTCT, under the subject ‘Pedestrians and Road Design’.

24th Baltic Road Association Conference – 2000

As part of Seminar B1, Dr. Samuel Iyiola Oni from Lagos University published papers on the topics of night-time road-use and driver education.

Information – Driving in Nigeria

Road Traffic Accident Statistics

The following statistics have been published by the Federal Road Safety Commission.  They may not represent a true reflection of actual levels of road traffic accidents as, for example, not all accidents are reported to the Police or the FRSC.

Driving Advice to Foreign Visitors

  • Please be aware that the international driving permit is not recognized in Nigeria.  If you wish to drive yourself you will need to obtain a Nigerian driving licence.
  • Avoid night driving, as streets are often poorly lit and many vehicles are missing lights or reflectors.  Also, bandits and road blocks are more common after dark.
  • Lock car doors while travelling, close windows, and keep valuables out of site in the boot.
  • Ensure that the vehicle in which you are travelling has enough fuel before setting off on a long journey.
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Keep a charged cell phone with you when travelling and plan, in advance, who to contact in the case of an emergency.
  • Be aware that roadside assistance and medical support for road traffic accident victims is scarce, especially outside major cities.  This means that receiving even a minor injury can result in much more serious consequences than if the accident occurred in, say, North America or Europe.  Always ensure your travel insurance covers the cost of medical evacuation.
  • Drivers and passengers of vehicles involved in accidents resulting in serious injury or death may experience extra-judicial actions, for example, mob attacks, in addition to official consequences such as fines and imprisonment.

Nigerian Road Safety News

April 2007

United Nations Global Road Safety Week 2007


Nigeria is running a wide range of activities and events to mark UN Global Road Safety Week next month.  Global Road Safety Week will officially run from 23 to 29 April 2007.

Federal Road Safety Commission Web Site – New URL

The URL of the official site of the Federal Road Safety Commission has changed to

February 2007

Multiple Deaths in Lorry Accident

Dozens have been killed or injured in an accident on the Funtua-Bimin Gwari road in Katsina State.  The accident was caused by a blow-out of a lorry’s front tyre.  The lorry was packed full of traders and domestic animals.  In January 2007 over thirty people were killed in a similar accident in Yobe State.

October 2006

FRSC ‘Ember’ Months Campaigns

This year’s ‘ember’ months road safety campaigns are now well and truly underway.  Traditionally, in Nigeria, a higher incidence of accidents is experienced during the final months of the calendar year.  The Federal Road Safety Commission has reported that the primary causes of accidents during this period are road indiscipline, overloading, impatience, drunkenness, discourtesy to other road users and incorrectly maintained vehicles.  During this period, when the roads tend to be more busy, the FRSC is encouraging drivers to consider whether their trips are really needed or whether, for example, they could transact their business on the telephone.

Road Transport Safety Standardization Scheme

The FRSC has reported that the Road Transport Safety Standardization Scheme (RTSS) that provides standards for the operation of fleet transport operators and guidelines for night trips has reduced the numbers of accidents involving luxury buses except for accidents caused by armed robbers.

September 2006

Twenty people were reported to have been killed when a bus collided with a truck on the the Lokoja-Abuja road.  Local officials blamed the bus driver for causing the incident by running into an oncoming truck while attempting overtake another vehicle.

August 2006

The FRCS carried out a 5-day road safety campaign on Lagos roads.  Read more about Operation ‘Linestorm’ in an article published in the Daily Sun.  The operation targeted a range of issues including:

  • Adherence to speed limits
  • Removal of obstructions on highways
  • Seat belt use
  • Arrest of under-aged and drunk drivers
  • Removal of extra headlights
  • Enforcement of lane discipline
  • Cell phone use
  • Overloading
  • Impounding of vehicles with right-hand steering

May 2006

The Nigerian Tribune has reported a dramatic increase in reported road traffic accidents in Kogi, Kwara and Ekiti states.

Eleven people were reported to be killed in a traffic accident which occurred on 1st May along the Akure-Owo Road in Ondo state.  The incident involved a commercial minibus and a heavy-duty tipper truck.

At least 30 people were killed in a multi-vehicle traffic accident on the Ife-Ibadan expressway in southwest Nigeria when a trailer driver lost control of his vehicle and rammed into three mini-buses at Akinlalu junction.  Several victims were reported to have been crushed beyond recognition and many others sustained severe injuries that needed treatment at nearby hospitals.

April 2006

The Federal Road Safety Commission’s Head of Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr Yakubu Attah, calls for private sector partnership in sourcing funds for effective public enlightenment on road safety.  He urges corporate bodies, especially those in the oil and gas, banking and manufacturing sectors, to take a cue from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) which has, over the years, partnered with the FRSC in providing public road safety awareness materials.

October 2005

An updated web site for the Federal Road Safety Commission (Corps) is available at  The FRSC has responsibilities for policymaking, organization and administration of road safety in Nigeria.

September 2005

The Nigerian Government has given its approval to a proposal to introduce compulsory road safety education in primary and post primary schools. The Minister of education has pledged to ensure road safety becomes an integral part of the school curriculum.  An associated awareness campaign is being promoted under the slogan “Stop, Look and Listen”.

January 2005

Bauchi State Sector Command of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has announced that it is to embark on more aggressive public enlightenment programme during 2005. This will target commercial, private and government drivers in an effort to reduce road traffic accidents and traffic offences.

November 2004

The Nigerian Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has released books and audio tapes aimed at encouraging a culture of road safety in children and young adults.  Schools across the country have been designated as distribution centres to help ensure that the materials reach their target audience.

Boga Abuul, the Principal Assistant General Secretary of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, has called on the FRSC to set up driving schools around the country with the aim of improving skills and reducing accidents on the nation’s roads.

August 2004

A new West African road safety organisation, in which the Nigerian FRSC will participate, is planned to coordinate efforts in Nigeria, Togo and Benin.

May 2004

As a direct follow up to World Health Day and the General Assembly discussion, the World Health Assembly, the supreme decision-making body of the World Health Organization, unanimously adopted Resolution WHA 57.10 on Saturday 22 May.

April 2004

In response to a growing concern about road traffic injuries, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General has, for the first time in the history of WHO, devoted a World Health Day to Road Safety.  Each year road traffic accidents take the lives of 1.2 million men, women and children around the World, and seriously injure millions more.  At the Paris launch on 7 April 2004, WHO and the World Bank launched the World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention which draws on contributions from nearly 100 road traffic injury prevention experts from a wide range of countries.  On 14 April 2004, the United Nations held a plenary meeting of the General Assembly in connection with World Health Day, to increase the awareness of the magnitude of the road traffic injury problem at the highest levels.

October 2003

Nigeria participated in the International Walk To School Week for the first time.  As the majority of pupils already walk to school, the aim of the event in Abuja was to draw the attention of government agencies, commissions, and road users to the need for improved road safety and a more stringent enforcement of existing law and regulations.

September 2003

More than 70 people were reported to have been killed in a multiple vehicle accident along the Lokoja-Abuja highway at Akpogu.  The accident involved a luxury bus, a truck and a car.  The majority of those killed were passengers of the luxury bus.

January 2003

The Nigerian Government, through the Road Safety Commission (RSC), introduced the compulsory usage of seat belts by all motorists in a bid to reduce the incidence of death and injuries on the roads.  According to the Lagos State Sector of the RSC, the estimated volume of accidents on the roads between 1990 and 2001 was over 200,000 with almost 87,000 lives lost.  It is anticipated that the introduction of seat belts will reduce the loss of lives through road accidents by about 50%.

November 2002

For the first time, a small family car, the Renault Megane II, achieved five stars in Euro NCAP’s crash tests. Three other cars, the Saab 9-3, the Renault Vel Satis and the Mercedes E-class also achieved five stars.

June 2002

The latest generation Mercedes ‘C’ Class was the second car to achieve Euro NCAP’s coveted five-star crashworthiness rating.  (The first car to achieve this rating was the Renault Laguna II.)