ROAD TRAFFIC LAW
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
Licensing Authorities and Licensing of Vehicles
Licensing of Drivers of Motor Vehicles
Control of Traffic
ROAD TRAFFIC LAW
[9th October, 1985]
Licensing Authorities and Licensing of Vehicles
There is hereby established in and for the State a Unit in the Ministry to be known as the Road Traffic Unit (hereinafter referred to as “the Unit”).
The functions of the Unit shall include—
(a) periodic inspection of motor vehicles for the purpose of determining their roadworthiness;
(b) testing of applicants for driving licences;
(c) inspection of vehicles involved in accidents;
(d) enforcement of the provision of this Law and of any regulations made thereunder;
(e) advising the Principal Licensing Officer on technical matters (such as weight and structure) pertaining to the registration and inspection of vehicles; and
(f) ensuring that adequate road signs are displayed on highways.
The Commissioner shall by notice in the Gazette deploy suitable persons from amongst serving officers in the Ministry to be Vehicle Inspection Officers and persons so deployed shall, under that name, perform such functions as may be prescribed by this Law.
(1) Without prejudice to the Central Motor Registry in Lagos, there is hereby established in and for the State, a State Motor Registry.
(2) The headquarters of the Registry shall remain a section of the Board of Internal Revenue and shall be headed by an officer of the Board of Internal Revenue appointed by the Principal Licensing Officer and designated Motor Vehicle Licensing Officer.
(3) For the purpose of this Law, the Director of Internal Revenue shall serve as the State Principal Licensing Officer and shall be charged with responsibility for the State Motor Registry and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed from time to time by the Commissioner.
(4) Subject to the provisions of this Law and any regulations made thereunder, the State Motor Registry shall maintain a register for all licences issued and required by or under the provisions of this Law to be recorded and shall serve as a repository of such licences.
(1) The Commissioner for Finance shall by notice in the Gazette—
(a) appoint licensing authorities for the purposes of this Law and shall assign to such authorities distinctive letters for the purposes of such identification marks as may from time to time be specified by notice in the Gazette and may also assign to any such licensing authority other distinctive letters for the purpose of additional identification marks subject to such conditions as may be prescribed;
(b) allot distinctive devices or letters to be used as identification marks on vehicles in the public service of the State or in any other particular case as the Commissioner deems fit.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Law and any regulations made thereunder a copy of each licence or renewal thereof issued under this Law shall be sent by the licensing authority issuing the same to the State Motor Registry.
(3) The licensing authority shall when registering a motor vehicle or trailer or when issuing a licence, furnish the State Motor Registry with such information relating thereto or concerning the vehicle in respect of which or persons in respect of whom the licence is issued, as may be required by the State Principal Licensing Officer.
No person shall drive or, being the owner, permit any other person to drive a motor vehicle or trailer on a highway unless such vehicle is registered and licensed under this Law and has affixed thereto an identification mark as may be prescribed.
(1) The owner of a motor vehicle or a trailer shall register the same with any licensing authority in the State in accordance with the regulations made under this Law.
(2) The registration of a motor vehicle or trailer in any part of the federation shall for the purposes of this Law be a valid registration.
(3) A licensing authority shall assign to each vehicle registered with it a separate number and each number together with the distinctive letter or letters assigned by the licensing authority in accordance with section 5 shall be the identification mark of that vehicle and such mark shall be affixed on the vehicle in such manner as may be prescribed.
(1) Where the owner has made a declaration to a licensing authority that the motor vehicle or trailer will be in predominant use in the State, the licensing authority shall, on registration of the motor vehicle or trailer in accordance with the provisions of this Law, issue to the owner a registration book.
(2) A licensing authority may require the owner (who has obtained a licence elsewhere, not being the holder of a visiting permit or a transit permit as provided for in the Immigration Regulations 1963) of a motor vehicle or trailer used on a highway in the State to produce to it a registration book valid in the State and if the owner is unable to do so, the licensing authority may require him to declare within seven days the place where the said motor vehicle is in predominant use.
(3) When a declaration made under subsection (2) of this section shows that a motor vehicle is in predominant use in the State a licensing authority shall require the person making the declaration to register the said vehicle within seven days and obtain a registration book and a licence valid in the State.
(4) The owner of a motor vehicle or trailer registered in accordance with section 7 of this Law may make a declaration to a licensing authority that—
(a) the said motor vehicle or trailer is destroyed; or
(b) it has become permanently incapable of being driven on a highway; or
(c) the owner has ceased to put it in predominant use in the State, and in any of those cases the owner shall forthwith surrender the registration book issued in respect of that motor vehicle or trailer to the licensing authority for cancellation.
(5) A registration book issued under this section shall remain valid until surrendered under the provisions of subsection (4).
(6) Any person who fails to make a declaration when required to do so under the provisions of subsection (2) of this section or fails to comply with the requirements of a licensing authority acting under subsection (3) of this section or knowingly makes a false statement in a declaration made under the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of two hundred naira or imprisonment for six months or to both such fine and imprisonment:
Provided that no person shall be liable to conviction for making a false statement in a declaration made under subsection (2) of this section if he proves to the satisfaction of the court that the motor vehicle or trailer is in predominant use between any place or places in the State or any other State of the Federation.
(1) A dealer who ordinarily carries on business in the State may, in accordance with regulations made under this Law obtain from any licensing authority in the State a special trade licence which may be used throughout the State on any motor vehicle or trailer for such purpose and in such circumstances as may be prescribed; and any special trade licence similarly granted in any other part of the Federation shall be valid in the State.
(2) A licence shall be issued under this section upon payment of such fee as may be prescribed for a period of twelve months or three months with effect from the day of the month of issue.
(3) When a licence issued under this section is renewed before the date of expiry of the previous licence the licence shall be with effect from the first day of the month following the month in which the previous licence expires.
(4) The licensing authority shall, as may be prescribed, assign one or more identification marks in respect of each special trade licence, and one such identification mark shall, in such manner as may be prescribed be affixed to any vehicle used under such special trade licence.
Licensing of Drivers of Motor Vehicles
(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless is licensed for that purpose under this section and no person shall employ another who is not so licensed to drive a motor vehicle:
Provided that a holder of a learner’s permit issued under the regulations made by virtue of this Law may, when accompanied for the purpose of instruction by a licensed driver sitting beside him, drive for such period as may be prescribed and on such highways as may be specified in such permit and the holder of such permit and such licensed driver shall be jointly and severally liable for any injury or damage caused by such driving or any offence under this Law committed in the course thereof.
(2) No person shall drive a motor vehicle of any class or description other than that which he is licensed to drive or in respect of which he holds a learner’s permit.
(3) The licensing authority shall on receipt of an application in the prescribed form together with the prescribed fee grant a licence to drive a motor vehicle to any person applying for it who—
(a) is not disqualified from obtaining such a licence;
(b) if so required by the licensing authority passes such test as to the driving of a motor vehicle as may be prescribed;
(c) if the licensing authority so requires, supplies to the licensing authority satisfactory evidence that he is not suffering from any disease or physical disability which would be likely to cause the driving by him of a motor vehicle being a vehicle of such description as he would be authorised by the licence to drive, to be a source of danger to the public; and
(d) has complied with the provisions of any written law relating to insurance in respect of motor vehicles.
(4) Any person to whom a licence or renewal thereof has been refused by reason only of non-compliance with subsection (3) (c) of this section may appeal against such refusal to a magistrate who may make such order as he deems fit, due regard being had to the public safety.
(5) A licence or permit to drive a motor vehicle issued in any part of the Federation other than the State shall be valid in the State if the licence holder—
(a) ordinarily resides in such other part of the Federation; or
(b) normally drives in such other part of the Federation; or
(c) is a holder of a visiting permit or a transit permit issued under the Immigration Regulations 1963 and who obtained such licence in such other part of the Federation.
(6) Every license issued in the State shall be valid for twelve months with effect from the date of its issue and may be renewed from time to time on payment of the prescribed fee.
No licence shall be issued to a person who is under eighteen years of age.
(1) Any court before which a person is convicted of any offence in connection with the driving of a motor vehicle—
(a) may, in addition to any other penalty imposed, if the person convicted holds a driver’s licence, suspend his licence for a specified period, and, if the court thinks fit, also declare the person convicted to be disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for a further specified period after the expiration of the licence; and
(b) may, in addition to any other penalty imposed, if the person convicted does not hold a driver’s licence, declare him disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for a specified period;
(c) shall, if the person convicted holds a driver’s licence, direct that particulars of the conviction and of any order of the court may under this section be endorsed upon his licence.
Any person so convicted, if he holds a driver’s licence, shall produce the licence within such time as the court may direct for the purpose of endorsement, and if he fails to do so he shall be guilty of an offence under this Law.
A licence suspended by the court shall during the period of suspension be of no effect and shall for that period be retained in the custody of the court and a person whose licence is suspended or who is declared by the court to be disqualified from obtaining a licence shall during the period of suspension or disqualification be disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence.
Any person who is by virtue of an order of the court under this section disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence may appeal to the High Court, and the court may, if it thinks fit, pending the appeal, suspend the operation of the order.
The court shall cause particulars of any conviction and order of the court in relation to an offence connected with the driving of a motor vehicle to be sent without delay to the State Motor Registry who shall keep records thereof in such manner as may be prescribed.
Any person who applies for or obtains a licence or a renewal of a licence and—
(a) is disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence; or
(b) holds an endorsed licence and does not give particulars of the endorsement; or
(c) fails to disclose that he is suffering from any mental or physical disease or disability which might affect his driving or control of a motor vehicle;
(d) fails to disclose that he is suffering from any mental or physical disease or disability which might affect his driving or control of a motor vehicle, shall be guilty of an offence, and any licence so obtained shall be of no effect.
Every person who at any time has held a driving licence issued in any part of the Federation shall produce such licence or if he has held more than one licence the most recent of such licences to the authority when he applies for a renewal thereof or for a new driving licence:
Provided that the licensing authority may dispense with this requirement where the previous licence expired at least two years before the application or where in his opinion it is impracticable for the applicant to produce such licence.
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Law or in the regulations made thereunder, a superintendent of police may request a licensing authority to revoke a licence to drive a motor vehicle during its currency, or to refuse the issue or renewal of such licence to any person whose conduct or character is, in the opinion of the superintendent of police, such as may render him unfit, whether from the point of view of the safety of the public or otherwise, to hold a licence:
Provided that no action under this subsection shall be taken without the authority of the Commissioner, Deputy-Commissioner, or an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
(2) Upon receiving such request the licensing authority shall—
(a) if the request concerns revocation of the licence, by notice in writing sent to the registered address of the licensee and to the superintendent of police, appoint a time and place when the superintendent of police and such person may attend before the licensing authority may revoke and take possession of such licence, and shall notify the State Motor Registry forthwith of the decision; or
(b) if the request concerns refusal to issue or renew a licence on an application being made for such issue or renewal by the person to whom the request refers, by notice in writing call upon the superintendent of police to show cause why a licence should not be issued or renewed and shall call upon the applicant to reply thereto, either orally or in writing as the applicant may desire, and if in the opinion of the licensing authority sufficient cause is not shown, may grant the issue or renewal of the licence and shall notify the State motor registry accordingly;
(c) keep a record in writing of any proceedings under paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection and, on a written request for a copy of the proceedings by either party issue a certified copy thereof.
(3) A person whose licence has been revoked or to whom a licence or renewal thereof has been refused by the licensing authority acting in accordance with the provisions of this section may appeal to a magistrate and the magistrate may cancel the revocation or order the issue or renewal of a licence which has been refused solely by reason of the cause shown by the superintendent of police, and an appeal shall lie from such decision or order of a magistrate to the High Court.
(4) No person whose licence has been revoked or to whom the issue or renewal of a licence has been refused under this section shall, subject to any appeal, again apply within twelve months of the date of such revocation or refusal for the issue of a licence or a renewal thereof.
Control of Traffic
(1) The Calabar Municipal Council or any other Local Government Council in the State may by order, which may be of a general or specific nature, control traffic in urban areas of the State, and in particular but without prejudice to the foregoing shall provide for—
(a) the routes to be followed by vehicles, animals and pedestrians;
(b) the lane to be kept by a person driving a vehicle or riding an animal on any highway;
(c) the prohibition or restriction of the use of any specified highways by vehicles of any class or description;
(d) the prohibition of the driving or propelling of vehicles on any specified highways otherwise than in a specified direction;
(e) the specification of parking places, and the days and hours during which and the maximum period for which such places may be used and the fees, if any, to be charged;
(f) waiting vehicles to use different days or at the different hours;
(g) the prohibition of waiting vehicles on any specified highway;
(h) the specification of routes to be followed and the stopping places to be used by stage carriages;
(i) the appointment of stands for hackney and stage carriages and the days and hours during which they may be used;
(j) the prohibition of the sounding of horns or other similar instruments either generally or during specified hours or in respect of specified areas;
(k) the regulation of the conduct of persons driving or propelling or being in charge of or riding any vehicle or animal on a highway;
(l) the prohibition of the operation of stage and hackney carriages within the urban area save under and in accordance with the conditions of a permit issued by a local government council, and the restriction of the number of stage and hackney carriages which may so operate either generally or in respect of any specified route or area; and
(m) the regulation of traffic.
(2) The Commissioner of Police may by order or by general direction or by the use of traffic signs either generally or in respect of specified occasions regulate traffic in the neighbourhood of any public place.
The Commissioner may by notice in the Gazette apply any or all of the provisions of section 20 of this Law to any area or place in the State other than an urban area and may in such notice specify the persons or authority that may exercise the powers of a local government council or the Commissioner of Police.
(1) A local government council, Divisional Works Officer, Chief Engineer or Area Engineer (by whatever name called), a Divisional Police Officer and a Road Traffic Officer may cause or permit traffic signs to be placed on or near any highway.
(2) Traffic signs shall, when necessary, conform to any international requirement relating thereto and in default of such requirements shall be of such size, colour and type as may be prescribed.
(3) After the commencement of this Law, no traffic sign shall be placed on or near any highway except under and in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Law:
Provided that nothing in this Part shall apply to any traffic sign placed by the owners or workers of any railway, light railway, dock or harbour undertaking, in pursuance of powers conferred by any written law in force in the Federation.
(4) The Area Engineer in a local government area may by notice in writing require the owner or occupier of any land on which there is any traffic sign or any object which so closely resembles a traffic sign that it might reasonably be taken to be such a sign, to remove it, and if such owner or occupier fails to comply with such notice the Area Engineer may effect the removal doing as little damage as possible, and may recover as summarily a civil debt from the person so in default the expense incurred in so doing.
(1) If it appears to the Chief Engineer or the Area Engineer in charge of roads that any highway should be closed temporarily to vehicular traffic or to any particular kind of vehicular traffic such Chief Engineer or Area Engineer in charge or roads may fix or cause to be fixed at each end of such highway a notice to the effect that such highway is closed to such traffic and the said highway shall thereupon be deemed to be closed to such traffic until the said notices are removed by, or by the order of, the local government council, Divisional Police Officer, the Chief Engineer or the Area Engineer in charge of roads:
Provided that in an emergency the Chief Engineer or the Area Engineer in charge of roads may grant or cause to be granted a permit in writing to the person named therein to use a specified vehicle on the said highway on the occasion and for the purpose there stated.
(2) The Commissioner may by notice published in the Gazette close any highway either permanently or for such time as may be specified in the notice, to any or every kind of vehicular traffic subject to such exceptions as he may specify.
(1) The Chief Engineer in charge of roads or the head of a Ministry or Department responsible for the maintenance of any bridge may cause to be placed in a conspicuous place or near any bridge a notice to the effect that—
(a) the bridge cannot carry more than a certain weight;
(b) a vehicle exceeding a certain breadth or height cannot with safety be driven on or over such bridge;
(c) vehicles may not exceed a specified speed when crossing the bridge.
(2) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with the terms of such notice shall be guilty of an offence.
(3) For the purposes of this section and section 26 of this Law, the weight of a vehicle which is drawing any other vehicle shall be deemed to be the gross weight of that vehicle and of the vehicle or vehicles drawn by it.
(1) When any bridge or any other structure is damaged—
(a) by reason of any vehicle passing over it in contravention of the provisions of section 24; or
(b) by reason of any vehicle when passing over the bridge coming into contact with any portion thereof other than the surface of the roadway, the owner of the vehicle and the person driving or propelling the same shall be jointly and severally liable to the Government or the local government council, as the case may be, for any damage done thereto.
(2) A certificate under the hand of the Controller of Works or the Chief Engineer in charge of roads or of an Engineer employed by the local government council (if any) stating the amount of the cost of making good such damage shall upon proof of signature, be prima facie evidence of such cost of making good such damage.
Neither the government nor any local government council shall be liable for any injury, damage or loss which may accrue to any person or property through the failure of any highway to sustain any vehicle.
Where a police officer is for the time being engaged in the regulation of traffic on a highway, or where any traffic sign being a sign for regulating the movement of traffic or indicating the route to be followed by traffic has been lawfully placed on or near a highway in accordance with the provisions of this Part, any person driving or propelling a vehicle who—
(a) neglects or refuses to stop the vehicle or to make it proceed or to keep to a particular lane of traffic when directed to do so by the police officer in the execution of his duty; or
(b) fails to conform to the indication given by the sign, shall be guilty of an offence.
In this Part—
“traffic sign” includes all signals, warning signposts, direction posts, signs or other devices for the guidance or direction of persons using the highway;
“vehicle” includes carriages, wagons, carts, motor vehicles, bicycles, tricycles, vans, lorries, trailers, hand carts, sledges, trucks, barrows and all other machines for the carriage of goods and persons.
(1) Any person who drives a motor vehicle on a highway recklessly or negligently, or at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case including the nature, condition, and use of the highway, and to the amount of traffic which actually, is at the time, or which might reasonably be expected to be, on the highway, is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of two hundred naira or to imprisonment for six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(2) A person who causes the death of another person by the driving of a motor vehicle on a highway recklessly, or at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the nature, condition and use of the highway, and the amount of traffic which actually is at the time or which might reasonably be expected to be on the highway, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of one thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(3) An offence against subsection (2) shall be triable by a Chief Magistrate’s Court or the High Court.
(1) A person who when driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle, on a highway or other public place, is under the influence of drink or drugs to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of such vehicle is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of four hundred naira or to imprisonment for two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(2) A person who, when in charge of (but not driving) a motor vehicle which is on a highway or other public place, is unfit to drive through drink or drugs is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of four hundred naira or to imprisonment for two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), a person is deemed not to have been in charge of a motor vehicle if he proves—
(a) that at the material time the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of his driving the vehicle so long as he remained unfit to drive through drink or drugs; and
(b) that between his becoming unfit to drive and the material time he had not driven the vehicle on a highway or other public place.
(4) A person convicted of an offence under this section shall, unless the court for special reasons thinks fit to order otherwise and without prejudice to the power of the court to order a longer period of disqualification, be disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for a period of twelve months from the date of the conviction.
(5) In this section “unfit to drive through drink or drugs” means under the influence of—
to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of a motor vehicle.
A police officer may arrest without warrant any person committing an offence under section 29 or section 30.
Any person who—
(a) forges or fraudulently defaces, alters, mutilates or adds anything to or abstracts anything from any licence or identification mark; or
(b) exhibits or uses any licence which has been forged, defaced, altered, mutilated or added to or abstracted from as aforesaid; or
(c) lends or allows to be used by any other person any licence or identification mark; or
(d) uses on one vehicle a licence or identification mark pertaining to another vehicle; or
(e) uses a driving licence belonging to another person or displays or uses any licence upon which figures or particulars have become illegible or displays or uses any colourable imitation of any licence, shall be guilty of an offence.
Any person who drives a motor vehicle on any occasion when he is not expressly or impliedly authorised by the owner of such motor vehicle is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of one hundred naira or to imprisonment for six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Where in any accident caused by the use of any motor vehicle or trailer on a highway any injury is caused to any person, property, or livestock in the charge of any person, the driver of the motor vehicle shall—
(a) immediately stop the vehicle;
(b) furnish his name and address, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle, and any other particulars relating thereto as may be requested by any person to whom, or by the owner or person in charge of the property or of the livestock to which the injury has been caused, or by any police officer;
(c) in any case where the person to whom injury has been caused so requests, or if such person is unconscious or if the injury caused to that person appears to endanger life, take all reasonably practicable steps to attend to the injured person, to procure his medical attention and to procure, where necessary, his removal to a hospital and thereafter report the accident forthwith to the nearest police station or to the nearest local government council;
(d) in every case not referred to in paragraph (c) above, report the accident as soon as possible and in any case within twenty-four hours of the occurrence of the accident to the nearest police station, or to the nearest local government council.
(1) Any person who commits or who is alleged to have committed an offence under this Law or the regulations made thereunder who refuses to give his name or address or such other information as may be demanded or who gives a false name or address or false information, shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) The owner of any motor vehicle or trailer shall, on demand by any police officer, give all the information which it is within his power to give as to the name, address, description, antecedents and whereabouts of any person who commits or is alleged to have committed an offence in respect of or with any such motor vehicle or trailer and shall also give similar information regarding any occupants of the motor vehicle or trailer at the time of the offence and if such owner fails so to do he shall be guilty of an offence.
Any police officer may apprehend without warrant any person who commits within his view, or whom he reasonably suspects of having committed an offence under this Law or under any regulations made thereunder if—
(a) such person refuses or fails to produce his driving licence or other vehicle particulars on demand or within a reasonable time not later than twenty-four hours after such demand; or
(b) such person refuses to give his name and address or gives a name and address which may reasonably be believed to be false; or
(c) any vehicle driven by such person does not bear the prescribed identification mark.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section a police officer may retain the driving licence of a person—
(a) who commits an offence within his view; or
(b) whom he reasonably suspects of having committed an offence under this Law or under any regulation made thereunder, if he reasonably considers that any difficulty is likely to arise in the service of a summons on such person.
(2) A police officer, retaining a driving licence under this section, shall forthwith give that person a written statement signed and dated by that officer—
(a) to the effect that the licence has been so retained; and
(b) indicating the police station at which the licence may be claimed.
(3) A driving licence retained under this section shall be returned to the holder upon that person giving a written acknowledgement, signed and dated by him, to the effect that it has been so returned—
(a) if, not less than three days after the date of its retention, he reports in person at the police station mentioned in the written statement given in accordance with subsection (2); or
(b) if a summons relating to the offence committed, or reasonably suspected to have been committed, by him is served on him.
Where, under this Law or any regulations made hereunder, a person is required to supply a licensing authority with any information with regard to a motor vehicle or trailer or any particulars in relation to any licence or permit issued or applied for and such person supplies information or particulars which he knows or has reason to believe are false, he shall be guilty of an offence.
Where a person is convicted of an offence in respect of overloading of a commercial vehicle or trailer or driving a commercial vehicle at a speed exceeding that provided by law, then in addition to the person driving the vehicle at the time of the commission of the offence, if such person be not the owner of the vehicle, the owner of such vehicle shall also be liable, and may be charged accordingly:
(a) such owner shall not be convicted of the offence if he can prove to the satisfaction of the court that no act or omission on his part was conducive to the commission of the offence; and
(b) no proceedings under this section shall be commenced against such an owner except with the approval of a member of the police force of or above the rank of assistant superintendent.
(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence relating to the condition of a commercial vehicle or trailer then, in addition to the person convicted, the owner, if such person is not the owner, shall be guilty of the offence unless he proves to the satisfaction of the court that he was not, and could not by reasonable inquiry have been aware that the vehicle did not comply with the requirements of the law relating to the condition of the vehicle.
(2) No proceedings under this section shall be commenced against such owner except with the approval of a member of the police force of or above the rank of assistant superintendent of police.
Any person who uses a motor vehicle or trailer for a purpose other than that for which it is licensed shall be guilty of an offence.
Save as is provided in section 11 of this Law nothing in this Law shall affect any liability of a driver or an owner of a motor vehicle or trailer by virtue of any written law.
(1) Where a commercial vehicle or trailer is in the custody or under the control of any person other than the owner or some person employed by the owner then—
(a) that other person and not the owner shall be liable under section 40; and
(b) that person in addition to the owner shall be liable under section 41 unless such person can prove to the satisfaction of the court that he was not, and could not by reasonable inquiry have been aware that the vehicle did not comply with the requirements of the law relating to the condition of the vehicle.
(2) No proceedings brought under this section shall be commenced except with the approval of a member of the police force of or above the rank of assistant superintendent of police.
The owner or driver of a motor vehicle or an articulated vehicle shall not by reason of the vehicle having been registered or licensed by a licensing authority be relieved thereby of any responsibility for its roadworthiness and fitness for the purpose for which it is being used.
A person guilty of a breach of or failing to comply with or who commits an offence against any of the provisions of this Law for which no special penalty is provided shall be liable for a first offence to a fine of one hundred naira, and for a second and subsequent offence to a fine of two hundred naira or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(1) The Commissioner may make regulations for effectively carrying out the provisions of this Law, and in particular, but without prejudice to the foregoing, shall—
(a) determine and regulate the size, shape and character of the identification marks, and the mode in which they shall be affixed to motor vehicles and trailers and rendered easily distinguishable;
(b) prescribe the fees to be paid for the registration of motor vehicles and trailers and the particulars to be entered in the register;
(c) prescribe the form for the notification of a change in the ownership of a motor vehicle or trailer and as to registration thereafter;
(d) prescribe the different types of licences in respect of which motor vehicles and trailers may be licensed and the purpose for which vehicles so licensed may be used;
(e) regulate the issue and use of special trade licences;
(f) prescribe the fees to be paid for licences for motor vehicles and trailers or for any class or description of motor vehicles or trailers.
(2) The Commissioner may—
(a) prescribe conditions relating to the purposes for which stage carriages may be used and the hours during which they may ply for hire and other matters which shall be deemed to be attached to licences issued in respect of such vehicles, and empowering licensing authorities to issue any such licence subject to such further conditions as they may think fit to impose and endorse on the licence;
(b) prescribe the number of persons and the goods which may be carried in hackney and stage carriages;
(c) prescribe the stage carriages designed for the sole purpose of carrying persons and their luggage shall carry a conductor;
(d) prohibit persons from driving hackney and stage carriages, or from acting as conductors on stage carriages required to carry conductors, unless they wear badges issued by licensing authorities and, in the case of conductors, are registered by a licensing authority, and requiring the surrender of such badges in cases where the licensing authority considers the holder to be unsuitable to drive a hackney or stage carriage or to be a conductor on a stage carriage, as the case may be, and prescribe the fees for conductor’s badges and for the registration of conductors;
(e) prescribe areas within which hackney and stage carriages are not to operate unless they conform to the special requirements applicable to such areas;
(f) prescribe the constructional and mechanical requirements for hackney carriages, stage carriages and commercial vehicles;
(g) empower licensing authorities, singly or in combination, to the maximum and minimum fares which may be charged in the case of hackney and stage carriages;
(h) empower any licensing authority to—
(i) fix timetables for stage carriages on any route;
(ii) determine stopping times at stands and stopping places;
(iii) determine the days and hours during which stage carriages may ply for hire on any specified route;
(iv) require the fitting to hackney carriages of meters or other similar devices to indicate authorised fares;
(i) provide for the additional examination of hackney and stage carriage drivers before the issuing of a badge;
(j) prescribe the nature of examination for applicants for drivers’ licences and the conditions for granting or renewal of licences and as to the licences and permits which may be granted, the fees to be paid, and providing for the taking and recording of the fingerprint impressions of paid drivers;
(k) prohibit or restrict the driving of a motor vehicle or any class or description of motor vehicle on any specified highway or part of a highway or empowering any specified officer or other authority to impose any such prohibition or restriction;
(l) regulate the construction of motor vehicles and trailers and the conditions under which they may be used;
(m) prescribe the speed at which motor vehicles may be driven either generally or on any specified highway or within any defined area or place;
(n) prescribe precautionary measures to be taken in the interest of the safety and convenience of the public travelling in motor vehicles or otherwise using highways, and providing for the periodical inspection of motor vehicles;
(o) prescribe in respect of drivers of commercial vehicles—
(i) the hours that they may be employed without rest; and
(ii) the period of rest from driving or other employment which must be allowed, differentiating if necessary, between day and night and between drivers who are required only to drive the vehicle and those who have other duties to perform in addition to driving;
(p) exempt or authorise any specified officer or other authority to exempt from all or any of the provisions of this Law or any regulations made thereunder—
(i) any specified class or description of motor vehicle or trailer; or
(ii) a motor vehicle or trailer belonging to any particular class of persons; or
(iii) any specified area; or
(iv) any specified class or description of person in the service of the State, and prescribing any conditions for such exemptions;
(q) give effect to the fulfilment of international requirements laid down by the Federal Government in relation to motor traffic;
(r) issue international certificates for motor vehicles and international driving permits in accordance with the directives of the Federal Government;
(s) fix in accordance with the directives of the Federal Government the fees to be paid for certificates, permits and other documents issued in connection with international requirements;
(t) provide compulsory examination at any time of motor vehicles or trailers or any class or description thereof and the places and manner of such examination;
(u) make provisions with respect to—
(i) the appointment of examiners of motor vehicles and trailers or any class or description thereof;
(ii) the payment of fees for such examination by the owners of such vehicles;
(iii) the duties and powers of such examiners in regard to such examination;
(v) provide for the cancellation or suspension of any licence issued in respect of any motor vehicle or trailer which since the issue of the licence is in such a condition as to be a source of danger to persons travelling in the vehicle or to other users of the roads or to be injurious to the roads themselves;
(w) prescribe penalties for the breach or contravention of any regulation made under this Law;
(x) prescribe fees and charges;
(y) prescribe anything which is to be prescribed and generally for the better carrying into effect of the provisions of this Law.
(3) Regulations made under this section may be either general or restricted in their application to any particular class or description of motor vehicle.
(4) In addition to any penalty which may be imposed for the breach of any such regulation the regulation may provide that the licence of the person driving the motor vehicle or any particular class of motor vehicle at the time when the offence was committed shall be cancelled or be suspended for any specified length of time either in respect of a first or any subsequent conviction.
In any case or matter relating to a motor vehicle or to any licence, permit, certificate or other document issued under this Law or any regulations made hereunder, the production of a document purporting to be a copy of any entry in a register or a copy of a licence, permits, certificate or other document as aforesaid, by, or from the records of the State Motor registry shall be prima facie evidence of any matter, fact or thing stated or appearing thereon.
All registers, records and other documents kept in accordance with the provisions of the Road Traffic Act or the Road Traffic Law applicable to the State before the commencement of this Law shall be deemed to be registers, records and other documents kept in accordance with the provisions of this Law and the provisions of section 47 shall apply to such registers, records and documents aforesaid as if they had been kept under this Law.
The provisions of this Law shall apply to vehicles and persons in the public service of the State, and for the purpose of proceedings for an offence in connection with any such vehicle against any person other than the driver of the vehicle, the person in charge or control of the vehicle shall be deemed to be the person actually responsible unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that the driver and the driver alone was responsible.
(1) In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires—
“articulated vehicle” means a motor vehicle with a trailer drawn thereby which is so constructed and by partial superimposition attached to the motor vehicle that a substantial part of the weight of the trailer is borne by the motor vehicle;
“axle weight” means in relation to an axle of a heavy motor vehicle or of a trailer the aggregate weight transmitted to the surface beneath by the several wheels attached to that axle, when the heavy motor vehicle or the trailer is loaded;
“Board of Internal Revenue” means the Cross River State Board of Internal Revenue established under section 3 of the Board of Internal Revenue Law, Cap. B2 of the Laws of the Cross River State;
“commercial vehicle” means a hackney carriage, a stage carriage, a tractor, a breakdown lorry and any motor vehicle primarily designed for the carriage of goods excluding any such vehicle used exclusively for carrying the personal effects of the owner and not for hire or reward;
“Commissioner” means the State Commissioner charged with responsibility for Works and Transport; or the State Commissioner charged with responsibility for Finance, whichever is applicable;
“dealer” means a person who stocks motor vehicles for sale or carries on business as a repairer of motor vehicles;
“Director of Internal Revenue” means the Director of Internal Revenue appointed under section 3 of the Board of Internal Revenue Law Cap. B2 of the Laws of the Cross River State, who shall be the State principal licensing officer;
“Federation” means the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
“Gazette” means the State Gazette;
“government” means the government of the State;
“gross weight” means the net weight of the vehicle with the weight of freight or load (including the driver and crew) which such vehicle is designed to carry and registered as such by the licensing authority;
“hackney carriage” means any motor vehicle designed or constructed to carry not more than seven persons, used or intended to be used for carrying passengers for hire or reward under a contract expressed or implied for the use of the vehicles as a whole at or for a fixed or agreed rate or sum;
“heavy motor vehicle” means a commercial vehicle of which the gross weight exceeds one ton fifteen hundred weight;
“highway” includes any roadway to which the public have access;
“licensing authority” means a person or a body of persons appointed as a licensing authority by virtue of section 5 (a) of this Law;
“Ministry” means the Ministry responsible for Works and Transport;
“motor vehicle” means a mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads;
“motor vehicle licensing officer” means an officer appointed as Motor Vehicle Licensing Officer under section 4 (2) of this Law;
“net weight” means the weight of a vehicle unladen with a full fuel tank, full radiator and inclusive of all equipment;
“owner” means the person by whom the vehicle is kept and used and, in relation to a vehicle which is subject to a hiring agreement or hire purchase agreement, means the person keeping or using the vehicle under that agreement, and the expression, “ownership” shall be construed accordingly;
“police officer” means a member of the police force;
“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations;
“stage carriage” means any motor vehicle used or intended to be used for carrying passengers for hire or reward other than such a vehicle constructed or adapted to carry less than eight persons, the passengers paying separate and distinct fares for their respective places, and shall be deemed to include the expression “omnibus”;
“State” means the Cross River State of Nigeria;
“trailer” means a vehicle drawn by any motor vehicle but does not include a side-car attached to a motorcycle.
(2) For the purposes of this Law and the regulations made hereunder an articulated vehicle shall be deemed to be one vehicle.
The Road Traffic Law 1963 is hereby repealed but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done or caused to be done thereunder.
This Law may be cited as the Road Traffic Law.
ROAD TRAFFIC LAW
No Subsidiary Legislation