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Niamey, Niger

Rank#919 Niamey, Niger

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Travel Infomation Description

Road Conditions and Safety:  Road safety throughout Niger is a concern.  Travel outside Niamey and other cities often requires four-wheel-drive vehicles.  Driving at night is always hazardous and should be avoided. There have been occasional car-jackings and highway robberies throughout the country.

The main causes of accidents are driver carelessness, excessive speed, poorly maintained vehicles, and poor to non-existent road surfaces.  Urban traffic includes bicycles, pedestrians, livestock, donkey carts, and hand carts as well motor vehicles.  Overloaded trucks, buses, and other vehicles are common everywhere. Disabled vehicles are generally repaired in place, often partially blocking traffic lanes.

Police checkpoints are common both in cities and on rural roads.  On rural roads, police will check for license, registration, proof of insurance, and destination.

Traffic signals in Niamey often do not work properly. Traffic signs are often missing, damaged, or obscured.

Traffic Laws: All drivers must have either a valid Nigerien or international driver?s license. Local liability insurance is required for all vehicles. Traffic laws are based on the French system. Unless marked otherwise, at traffic circles and intersections, traffic must yield to vehicles entering from the right.

Headlights should not be used during the day. Except in emergencies, only police and military vehicles are allowed to use headlights during daylight hours. Horns should not be used after dark.

Drivers are required to pull over for: official motorcades or military convoys with headlights on, public emergency vehicles with sirens on, and funeral processions.

Accidents involving minor damage (?fender benders?) generally only require an exchange of insurance information. However, accidents involving more serious damage or injuries, or where there is any dispute over insurance or who is at fault, will require police involvement. In any accident where the police are involved, vehicles should not be moved before the police arrive.

Public Transportation:  While taxis are available at a fixed fare in Niamey, most are in poor condition and do not meet basic U.S. road safety standards. Inter-city ?bush-taxis? are available at negotiable fares, but these vehicles (minibuses, station wagons, and sedans) are generally older, unsafe models that are overloaded, poorly maintained, and driven by reckless operators seeking to save time and money.

A national bus company (SNTV) operates coaches on inter-city routes and, since being reorganized in 2001, has provided reliable service and has experienced no major accidents. Air Transport, Rimbo, and Garba Messag? are private bus companies operating in Niger. Concerns exist regarding the youth of drivers and the speed with which the private buses travel the Nigerien roads.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Niger, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Niger?s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

Niamey, Niger
Niamey, Niger
Niamey, Niger
Niamey, Niger

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