Keep motorcycles off our sidewalks!


Motorcyclists are sometimes seen riding on pedestrian sidewalks during peak hours. File.


There is a very bad habit that I have for the past few days seen growing on our roads that every citizen, not just the Police, should fight.

On Wednesday, as I drove home, a motorcycle rider almost knocked a pregnant woman on one of the roads here in Kigali; the taxi-moto rider was actually using the paved sidewalk that is earmarked for pedestrians.

A few seconds later, as the rest of us waited in the traffic jam since it was during those peak hours when the jam is intense, two or three other motorbikes cruised by, using the same sidewalk and seemingly unperturbed.

On seeing the last rider, I could not take it in; I craned my neck out of the car window and scolded the motorcyclist, who gestured what I interpreted as an apology and returned to the motorway.

What hurt me most was the fact that two of these bikes I saw actually had passengers on board, who tolerated this gross breach of traffic rules.

This habit is prevalent mainly on the newly constructed bypasses that were put up in different city suburbs to minimise traffic congestion especially during peak hours.

The errant riders take advantage of the fact that most of these access roads do not have traffic police officers, who are mostly deployed at main junctions during such peak hours.

Ensuring discipline on our roads should not be left to the police; every citizen should take it upon themselves to discourage such behavior.

Pedestrians walking on such walkways should not give way to these motorcyclists; passengers should ensure their motorcyclists observe road safety regulations while other motorists should also not remain observers to such.

We have seen in some neighbouring countries where motorcyclists have seemingly assumed priority on such pedestrian walkways, so much so that the pedestrians actually have come to accept to live with it.

That is not how we Rwandans are, or should be.

This and other criminalities in which motorists are involved should be fought tooth and nail.

The bad riders should be tamed in the earliest stages possible because they taint the image of all motorists; most of whom are hardworking Rwandans striving to feed their families.

Concerned Citizen