Gerayo Amahoro: Pedestrians at higher risk on roads, Police say

Pedestrians are much more likely to be injured during road crashes than any other road users, Rwanda National Police said. It said that more pedestrians are killed or maimed on Rwandan roads than all motorists’ accidents registered combined.

This was revealed on Friday as RNP engaged various road users across the country on the rights of pedestrians, as part of the on-going 52-week road safety awareness and education campaign across the country.

Police officers flocked to roads around the country to sensitise and educate road users on the meaning of various traffic signs in respect to rights of pedestrians, and how to safely use the road including use of zebra crossings.

In City of Kigali, police officers engaged crowds in Nyabugogo, Remera and Kicukiro suburbs, which experience heavy traffic and high movement of people.

Police advised the people to always use sidewalks and crosswalks to prevent causing or involving in accidents.

As part of the campaign, police urged drivers to respect road signs such as speed limits in heavy pedestrian zones, and restricting right turns on red lights at certain intersections.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jean Marie Vianney Ndushabandi, the spokesperson for Traffic and Road Safety department, urged drivers to respect pedestrian lanes and crossings, and mentioned that police “shall strictly enforce speed limits in areas with high pedestrian volume”.

He said the high number of pedestrians involved in accidents is largely due to abuse of traffic rules.

He faulted people on foot, who do not properly utilize sidewalks and using crosswalks with poor concentrations or while drunk.

 “When crossing the road do not use a phone. It is also advisable and safer to walk on the side facing vehicles from the opposite direction,” SSP Ndushabandi said.

Most crashes result from human error, according to police, citing speeding, aggressive, distraction resulting from use of phone and impaired driving caused by abuse of drugs and alcohol as the primary causes.