Are road signs for safety or fancy?

The traffic light and other road signs are standardised signals and devices used to control the traffic of automobiles, motorcycles and pedestrians along the road.

Their importance in safeguarding lives cannot be overemphasized, however, the constant incidence of road accidents has become an issue of concern.

Do people really adhere to these signs or are the signs for road beautification?

Some road users told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that the problem was their level of knowledge of traffic symbols.

According to Mrs Ann Uba, a dressmaker in Kubwa, FCT, I was taught these signs during driving lessons, so I can tell the meaning of the majority of them.

”I adhered to these symbols, but my only problem is with other road users, because they never observe them.

“Some drivers don’t want to know if you are slowing down or not, they are always in a hurry. And in a bid to dodge them, I may find myself disobeying these rules.

”These signs are easy to obey, but our problem is that we lack patience. Until we have patience while driving, we cannot obey traffic signs,” she said.

Another road user, Mrs Ezinne Mark, a civil servant,  said she could only adhere to traffic lights when necessary.

Mark said that other road users could influence her adherence to road signs.

“If I wait for the traffic light when the road is free, other drivers will be honking and urging me to move.

“Some of them will ask if my vehicle is spoilt, others will say I drive like a woman.

” Because of that, I only obey the traffic light when there is need. If there is no need, I will keep moving.

”Sometimes, you will not blame us. Some of these devices are faulty; some of them are not working anymore.

” If the government wants us to obey traffic signs, they should ensure these devices are in proper working condition,” she said.

Mr Victor Akpan, an undergraduate, said he had a vague knowledge of these traffic signs from what he was taught in primary school.

Akpan said that children should be made to learn and obey these signs from a young age as it would make it easier for them to obey them when they become older.

He said that as a pedestrian, drivers obeyed traffic signs only when there was traffic warden or security personnel to ensure compliance.

“To be honest, some of these drivers will not drive recklessly when there are security personnel, or when they are driving past a military zone, Akpan said.

However, Mr Charles Innocent, a taxi driver in Abuja, said that he was aware of the road signs but could not always adhere to them due to the nature of his job.

“I obey these signs, but not all the time. I cannot always stop for people to cross the Zebra Crossing, when I need to pick passengers.

“Other drivers will just pick them up and you will just be running round this Abuja with an empty vehicle,” he said.

NAN reports that the Federal Road Safety Crops says that traffic signs provide valuable information to drivers and other road users. 

NAN reports that they represent rules that are in place to keep you safe, and help to communicate messages to drivers and pedestrians, to  maintain order and reduce accidents. 

NAN also reports that neglecting them can be dangerous.


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