Like everywhere the driver should be vigilante, especially during dark hours. I have encounter large trucks driving full speed in the middle of the pitch-black night without ANY light on, the roads in Africa. As well as witnesses and heard about numerous people stopped by traffic police for other reasons than for speeding.
Anyone who has traveled overland in Africa know that the traffic police find inventive ways of collecting fines. Usually this involves diligently searching vehicles for even the most minor violations of traffic laws. Violations which drivers been exposed to include: lacking possession a road map of the city in Nigeria, not stopping at a broken traffic light in Botswana, and not having the correct pressure in the fire extinguisher in Malawi. In Nigeria, one driver was impounded for a day by the police who insisted they must convert their vehicle from a right-hand drive to a left-hand drive vehicle.
In Malawi, a friend of mine was stopped for speeding by the police. After a brief debate with the police, my friend saw that the “radar” was nothing less than a hairdryer. The local police explained that the radar equipment was broken so they used a similar shaped device to perform their duty.
These stories might make us smile but remember that road traffic injuries are among the leading causes of death in Africa. We must work for safer roads, fighting bribery and unawareness, as well as eliminating unsafe vehicles from the African roads.
According to WHO reports on road safety, the African Region had the highest rate of fatalities from road traffic injuries. The increased burden from road traffic injuries and deaths is partly due to economic development, which has led to an increased number of vehicles on the road.
However, when driving in Africa one will experience ever-changing landscapes, amazing sceneries and eventually finding Africa’s Eden.
In this video you can witness a poorly trained traffic officer on the outskirts of Potchefstroom, South Africa. This police officers also live dangerously crossing that road, especially if one compere with my country and how the Swedish police operates.
Here are some scenes from the African roads.
Also read NYT's Seeing Africa by Road
Watch the four-minute long video that a couple made during their journey in Africa on a road trip through South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.