The Police Month activities entered the fourth week this Monday with focus on road safety, as the force continues to educate road users on proper road usage, and to further reduce fatalities.
On the first day of the week-long education campaign, Rwanda National Police (RNP) and partners in road safety educated various categories of road users in all taxi parks across the country on traffic rules and regulations, and various behaviours that lead to road carnage.
The road safety campaign is conducted under the theme: “The role of passengers in road safety.” It also falls within the year-long road safety campaign dubbed Gerayo Amahoro (arrive safely), which is now in its thirteenth week.
Speaking to different road users at Nyabugogo bus terminal in Nyarugenge District, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, the RNP spokesperson, observed that pedestrians and passengers can equally create impact in preventing accidents.
Educating pedestrians on road safety standards and how safe they can use roads, he said, will prevent fatalities resulting from recklessness and improve their understanding on proper road usage.
“Pedestrians comprise the majority of road users going to work, school and other development activities, and it’s crucial that they understand how to use the road safely without either causing or being victims of an accident,” Kabera said.
“We want people to use pedestrian pathways, always walk on the left hand of the road where they are able to see automobiles coming from the opposite direction; use zebra crossing where they apply, and look both sides before crossing the road; do not be the cause of accidents that may take your life or make you a casualty,” he told hundreds of people at Rwanda’s biggest bus terminal.
The spokesperson also emphasized the role of passengers in avoiding road accidents especially by reporting or sharing information on their drivers, who violate traffic rules and regulations thus putting lives at risk.
“For passengers, you have to play a vital role in protecting your life. Do not think it is only the drivers’ responsibilities. We have different telephone lines for Police, RURA (Rwanda Regulatory Authority) and transport companies. At least play that role of reporting and sharing information whenever you see driver’s misconduct. You can even educate them,” Kabera emphasized.
Human behaviour especially driving while under influence of alcohol, using a phone, over-loading, speeding and overtaking in hotspots like sharp corners, among others, are the major cause of fatal accidents.
“Some drivers do not understand road safety, for them money comes before people’s lives. We have put speed governors in vehicles, but they manipulate them. Other drivers do not take enough time to rest, but we met with managers and owners of transport companies and we hope they will take appropriate measures to combat such dangerous behaviours,” he said.
Josee Mpano, one of the passengers, who was travelling to Musanze District, thanked Rwanda National Police for educating them on road safety and recommitted to report drivers’ misbehaviour.
“I know many people who have died or are now handicapped due to road accidents. I understand my role in avoiding accidents. Before entering this bus, I will check its plate number and I am ready to report anything that can cause an accident, I will be saving my life and that of others,” Mpano said.
He added: “I wish all Rwandans could understand their role in road safety, because if we respond collectively, we can create a big impact.”
The separate events were also attended by owners and heads of different transport companies, drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
The week-long campaign will target specific groups of road users, including motorcyclists, drivers of special hires, trucks or trailers, travel agencies as well as pedestrians including students.