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Overtaking Rules According to Nigeria Highway Code



cars on Laagos road


Road safety largely depends on road users being able to understand and follow the road rules. We bring to you the Rules of Overtaking according to the Nigeria Highway Code. Don’t be left behind, be informed.


Do not overtake unless you are sure it is safe for you and other road users.

Before you start to overtake, make sure that the road is clear ahead and behind. Look out properly.

Use your mirrors and glance behind you to see the blind spots; you must signal before you start to move out.

Be particularly careful at dusty and in misty environment or bad weather when it is more difficult to judge speed and distance.

REMEMBER: the LOOK-SIGNAL-LOOK again and MOVE routine (“LSLM”).

Ensure Clear View:
On fast roads, vehicles may be coming up behind much more quickly than you think.
Make sure that the lane you will be going into is clear for a good distance behind and in front of you.

Cutting in
Once you have started to overtake, move past the vehicle you are overtaking as quickly as possible. Leave it plenty of room. Then move back to the right side of the road as soon as you can, but without cutting in.

Do not accelerate against the rear of the vehicle in front, or out to the left at the last moment. ​The vehicle in front of you may have cause to slow down abruptly. Always move out from a safe distance.

On the right
Overtake only on the left except:

  • When the driver in front has signaled that he intends to turn left and you can overtake him on the right. Watch out in case the driver in front abruptly changes his mind or has wrongly left his signal on.
  • When you want to turn to the right at a junction and have signaled to do so.
  • When traffic is moving slowly in queues and vehicles in the left lane are moving slower than you are.
  • In a one-way street as vehicles may pass on either side.

​On Being Overtaken:
​Do not accelerate when you are being overtaken. Slow down if necessary to help and let the overtaking vehicle pass.

Parked Vehicles:
On an ordinary two-lane road, give way to vehicles coming towards you before you overtake parked vehicles or other obstructions on your right side of the road.

Sometimes, two vehicles are nearly double parked (an illegal act in itself), or other impediments such as road work, potholes, or mounds of garbage obstruct both sides of the road.

Drivers approaching such obstacles are usually unable to determine which of them should give way to the other.

The general rule is that the vehicle further from the stationary object should slow down or stop to allow the nearer vehicle to go first.

Common sense however should compel both drivers to show adequate caution and consideration for each other. to avoid collision.

Never compete for speed supremacy with other motorists; do not gamble with your life and life of others in traffic; it is sure to end in a crash.

Do Not Overtake
Do not overtake at or when coming to:

  • A pedestrian crossing, a bus station, a road junction, a corner or bend, a narrow bridge and where the road narrows.
  • A level crossing; the crest of a hill, when to do so would force another vehicle to swerve or brake suddenly.
  • If you would have to cross double solid white lines.
  • If the solid line of the center lines is nearer you.
  • When you see a ‘NO OVERTAKING’ sign

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Emeka is a Contributor at Autojosh. A graduate of Electrical/Electronic Engineering with a B.Eng degree. Emeka is a car enthusiast who is interested in traveling, writing, movies and driving. He also loves drinking garri with cold water.

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