Road Safety Week: Road users cautioned

Commemoration of Africa Road Safety Day and the launch of Road Safety Week. Photo by Emmanuel Kwizera

All road users should exercise caution and play their respective roles to minimise the number of fatalities and damage caused by road accidents.

Different officials issued the caution on Sunday during the launch of the Road Safety Week in Kigali.

The event coincided with celebrations to mark the Africa Road Safety Day.

Hundreds of city residents, government and police officials and motorists participated in the event which was characterized by sports activities at Rwanda Revenue Authority ground as part of the now weekly Car Free Day.

Speaking at the event, the Inspector General of Police DCG Dan Munyuza said that while the number of fatal accidents reduced over the past nine months of 2018 compared to the same period last year, there is still need to ensure the number is minimised or even prevented altogether.  

 Commemoration of Africa Road Safety Day and the launch of Road Safety Week. Photo by Emmanuel Kwizera.

Fatalities from road accidents recorded from January to September were 439 compared to 549 recorded in the same period last year.

“Much as we talk about decrease in numbers, we still lose people to reckless driving,” Munyuza said.

He attributed the reduction to measures like the introduction of speed governors in freight cargo transporters and passenger service vehicles.

Motorcycles recorded the highest number of accidents representing 56 percent, according to police records.

Commemoration of Africa Road Safety Day and the launch of Road Safety Week. Photo by Emmanuel Kwizera

Majority of accidents are recorded between Friday and Monday, police records show, while most of the victims are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Munyuza also urged the general public to be vigilant and inform the police whenever they notice cases of reckless driving to ensure that some accidents are prevented.

“Accidents are preventable when we act as individuals and play our respective roles. It will prevent children from being orphans and parents from losing their children to accidents,” he said.

Tough measures

Minister of State in charge of Transport, Eng Jado Uwihanganye says that At least two people loose their lives everyday to road accidents. Photo by Emmanuel Kwizera

According to Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, the state minister for transport, roads are built to make the population healthy and wealthy and that it is a pity that instead, some end up losing their lives on the same roads.

He said that government has proposed amendments to traffic regulations to ensure tough punishment for reckless driving.

The regulations also stipulate punishments for pedestrians who do not respect traffic rules, according to the minister.

He also said that government will soon install GPS in all motorcycles to ensure that they are located and monitored whenever they are to avoid cases of malpractices.

Some of motorcyclists said while they are aware that their conduct on roads is not above board, they also accused drivers, mainly of public transport vehicles that do not value them as rightful road users.

The week-long road safety drive will feature awareness campaigns by police and other partners across the country.

IGP Dan Munyuza said that most accidents are recorded over the weekends and 50% of the accidents involve commercial motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. Photo by Emmanuel Kwizera