5 Things You Should Never Do After Breaking a Traffic Law

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LASTMA - Breaking traffic law - Cheki Nigeria

People respond differently after breaking a traffic law. Some known acts in this league range from denials to outright physical scuffles with the arresting officer. There are cases where people feigned ignorance of the speed limit they were caught breaking or claimed that they were not texting when their phones were obviously in their hands while driving.

Many other excuses bother on drivers not knowing the traffic law they just broke. Here are five things you shouldn’t do after breaking a traffic rule:

Don’t Try to Outrun the Police/Enforcement Officer

This should be the holy grail of traffic rules and a matter of common sense too. Don’t try to outrun the traffic police after breaking a traffic law. An attempt to do so will not only put you at risk. It also puts the officers and other road users in great danger. This has led to greater road offences and even the death of pedestrians during a hot pursuit between police and offending drivers. Unfortunately, this is the norm for most Nigerian drivers, especially the commercial drivers.

Don’t Get Distracted 

Listen to what the traffic police is saying when pulled over for breaking a traffic law. Don’t get distracted; rather, try to listen to what the law enforcement official is saying to you about the rule you just broke. Your attention should be focused more on whether the traffic official intends to fine you or pardon you.

Don’t Pull Over at a Potentially Dangerous Spot 

These days, people impersonate virtually all law enforcement officials and security parastatals. Military personnel in the armed forces and the traffic officials are not left out. Therefore, you have to ensure your safety when you get pulled over. Only stop at an area that is well-lit and has a decent amount of human traffic.

If you do this without appearing arrogant or being rude, no traffic police will pick an issue with you trying to ensure your safety.

If you judge the stretch of the road to be unsafe, request that you should be taken to the nearest office or police station depending on the officer arresting you.

If the traffic officers are in plainclothes or you have a feeling that something just doesn’t click about them, ask for their ID.

Don’t Resist

Disobeying the police or law enforcement official after breaking the law only compounds your offence and may ultimately lead to your arrest. In Nigeria, some overzealous officers may even roughen you up if they are convinced that you are trying to resisting arrest.

Don’t Admit Guilt

The best answer to the question, “do you know why you have been pulled over” is ‘no.’ The goal of this question is to try to get you to admit guilt. Trying to respond by asking ‘was I speeding?’ could sound to them like you are trying to accuse them of not knowing their job.

Don’t remove your seatbelt when pulled over. This is to prevent the traffic police from accusing you of not putting on a seatbelt to the list of traffic offences you were pulled over for.

What kind of experiences have you had driving in Nigeria? Feel free to share with us in the comment section below.

A Nigeria-based writer and blogger who has written and edited for top brands including The SUN, Punch, Newswatch, Pulse.ng, Bigsam Media, Nigerian Bulletin, Swish Interativ, Hello Nigeria, National LIFE, iCampus, Jobberman and Cheki.