The road safety campaign week continued, yesterday, on all highways countrywide as police officers engaged motorists and passengers on traffic rules and regulations to ensure behaviour change and promote road safety.
In the City of Kigali, officers educated passengers, drivers and motorcyclists on all highways leading to the capital.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvénal Marizamunda, while addressing passengers and drivers in Rugende along Kigali-Rwamagana highway, said that all road users have the right to be safe on the road and to arrive to their respective destinations safe, which calls for everyone’s responsibility to ensure that safety standards are observed.
“If your driver is drunk or using a phone while driving, you have a right to stop the vehicle and get out, and report that vehicle by calling the police on 112 and 113; your safety should come first,” DIGP Marizamunda told the passengers.
He added: “When you report risky behaviours of drivers, you are not only enforcing road safety standards but you are also saving lives, protecting property, and protecting the environment.”
He urged drivers to value their lives and those of people they’re transporting by regulating their speed, avoiding overtaking at sharp corners or hotspots, using a phone, and driving under stress or while drunk.
“You have families or people that depend on you, so are those people you transport. Also, remember that there are other people using the road; pedestrians, other vehicles, motorcyclists and cyclists, and everyone has to use the road safely respecting each other.”
Statistics indicate that fatalities caused by public services vehicles and trucks reduced from 40 per cent and 23 per cent, in the last four months compared to the same period last year.
About 38 per cent of all fatalities registered in the same period were either caused by or involved motorcyclists. Accidents caused by or involving motorcyclists increased by 15 per cent.
The deputy Police chief asked passengers to desist from littering roads – often through hurling objects through windows, which he said can cause accidents but also constitute an act of environment degradation.
One of the drivers, Saleh Sibomana, in an interview said that “being a driver is a job that should be given value like any other.”
“Both the person in an office and the driver wake up in the morning going to work because they both have goals; we both have families to support, children in school. When I lose my job my family gets affected, the same goes to when you get an accident or die. So, we have to respect the ethics and safety standards of the job,” Sibomana said.
He said that enforcement of the speed governor policy and continuous training of drivers on road safety standards in their respective travel agencies will also go a long way in preventing fatalities.
Similar road safety sensitisations were also conducted along Kigali-Musanze, Kigali-Bugesera and Kigali-Gatuna highways where senior police officers educated passengers on their rights while on the road, and the overall traffic rules and regulations.
The awareness campaign also involved putting stickers on cars and motorcycles and giving passengers fliers containing road safety messages.
The campaign continues this Saturday where road safety messages will also be delivered during Umuganda across the country.
The road safety week is part of an ongoing Police Week community development and crime prevention activities ahead of the Rwanda National Police 18th anniversary.