At least 16 people died from 15 fatal road accidents which occured between September 14 and 20, according to the Rwanda National Police (RNP).
RNP Spokesperson Commissioner of Police Jean Bosco Kabera revealed that all the fatal accidents happened between 5pm and 9pm, a time when most people are racing against curfew while others were victims of drunk-driving.
Kabera further refuted claims that linked the rising number of road accidents to the curfew time.
“There are people who still disregard the time limit due to mindsets, and that’s why we still see many accidents,” Kabera said on Monday, while appearing on state broadcaster. “It’s clear that a certain period of time doesn’t cause accidents but the behavior of drivers and riders does.”
A recent traffic security report showed that a total of 1,826 road accidents happened between March when Covid-19 struck the country and August this year. Up to 744 of them occurred close curfew time.
This, the Police said then, means that 40.7 percent of the accidents took place in just one hour against 59.3 percent that happened in 16 hours.
To curb the growing concern, the Traffic Police Department resumed Gerayo Amahoro, a yearlong road safety campaign which had slashed accidents by 42 percent before the lockdown.
Kabera indicated that the campaign has been fused with Covid-19 prevention initiatives to remind people to plan one’s day ahead and avoid overspeeding, jamming the traffic and driving under the influence.
Every year, over 5,000 road accidents are registered claiming more than 500 lives, RNP figures show. At least 80 percent of these accidents are caused by reckless human behaviors.
Pedestrians top the list of casualties, followed by motorcyclists and bicyclists.
Last year alone, 2,597 people were arrested over drunk driving and over 309,000 traffic tickets were issued.Follow Mugisha_Cosma