Police issues directive over smart covers
Police has again directed Taxi Moto operators to supply head covers to wear under helmets to their passengers or face disciplinary action for failure to protect passengers from skin related diseases.
The directive was sounded by Celestin Twahirwa, head of Rwanda Traffic Police, during a meeting with over 1,000 motorcyclists at Nyamirambo Stadium yesterday.
The meeting was also attended by the Mayor of Kigali City, Fidele Ndayisaba.
The directive comes weeks after efforts to implement the use of head covers by motorists, who complain that it’s costly to buy them.
“The Ministry of Health clearly states that no passenger should board a motorcycle without a smart cover in order to be protected from skin infections that could arise from sharing the helmet,” Twahirwa told the motorists.
“We have discussed this issue over and again but nothing was done; therefore, if we all agree today that these smart covers are really important, you must from now on adopt and use them to avoid police disturbing you”.
However, the motorcyclists again argued that passengers should be the ones to meet the cost of head covers.
“We definitely want to use head covers because they are hygienic, but why must it be us to incur the cost with the little money we earn? It would be fine if the head covers were sold in shops so that passengers buy and use them whenever they hire our services,” Innocent Munyaneza complained during the meeting.
Emmanuel Mugireneza, another operator, said: “We tried to adopt the covers but passengers would not accept a slight extra charge for the distance we transported them, and this seriously affects us financially.”
Mayor Ndayisaba told the motorists to accept the “small charge” they incur by purchasing the covers.
“You had complained to us that the first batch of covers were expensive, costing Rwf100 each. But we procured companies in China that provided them at Rwf39. Therefore whoever sells them in Rwanda should not exceed Rwf 40,” Ndayisaba said.
Smart cover headgears were introduced late last year, as a Ministry of Health initiative to prevent people from contracting skin diseases when they share helmets.
Contact email: ivan.mugisha[at]newtimes.co.rw, rachelgaruka[at]yahoo.co.uk