Editorial: Cast the net wide in road safety enforcement

Road accidents have decreased by 21 per cent since the introduction of speed governors in public transport vehicles early this year.

Road accidents have decreased by 21 per cent since the introduction of speed governors in public transport vehicles early this year.

According to Rwanda National Police (RNP), the hi-technology gadget has also seen the number of people injured and deaths caused by road accidents shrink considerably. The device limits vehicles to a top speed of 60 kilometres per hour.

In many countries, economies suffer losses in millions of dollars as a result of road carnage. Road traffic injuries cause considerable economic losses to individuals, their families, and to nations as a whole. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product.

Going forward, Police needs the support of every one to further improve on the current state of road safety in Rwanda.

Speed governors are just one element of the many measures to ensure safety on the roads. We have cases where drivers try to manipulate the speed governors. Others devise ways to plug-in earphones to deactivate the system, while others drive while the engine is turned off in certain areas.

This puts the lives of passengers at risk and other road users. Passengers should report a driver who tries to do such because police alone will not be able to fully enforce road safety rules.
 
It is the responsibility of every passenger to ensure that the driver does not in any way manipulate or flout the road safety rules.  

Authorities should also cast the net wide to fully stamp out indiscipline on the roads.  Cars in dangerous mechanical conditions should not be allowed on the roads, speeding and drink driving especially among private car motorists is still a big problem.  

Between August 2016 and January 2017, before the introduction of speed governors, Police recorded 541 cases of road accidents in which 25 people died and 74 got serious injuries.

After introduction of speed governors, between February-July 2017, police recorded 424 accidents that killed 14 people while those injured were 54; with more concerted efforts; it is possible to achieve the desired road safety in the country.

 

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