Editorial: Roadside cameras should not terrorise drivers, they are lifesavers

The Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, yesterday began implementing a ban on motorcycles in the city it instituted last month. Though the use of motorcycles for public transport is not as widespread as in some of our cities, it is bound to disrupt movement.

Their only consolation is that their city is developing alternative means of public transport such as rapid urban rail transport to complement the tired soviet-era blue Ladas that dominate the streets.

The explanation for the strict measures to ban taximotos on the streets was that they were being used to commit crimes in the sprawling city of an estimated four million inhabitants.

But taximotos in Kigali and other road users have something to worry about all together; the new number plate recognition traffic cameras being installed all over, especially along highways connecting major urban centres.

The cameras are so efficient that in case of over-speeding, talking on the phone or not wearing a seatbelt, it immediately sends a ticket to the phone of the person the offending vehicle is registered under, with the offense and the amount to pay.

That is the new terror in town giving drivers and riders sleepless nights, they don’t know where the dreaded SMS will spring up, but it has really shaken them badly.

All that, and the other new traffic, measures are part of the Police’s year-long campaign dubbed; “Gerayo Neza” (Arrive Safely), which authorities believe will help curb rod carnages.

And, hopefully, our famously errant taximoto riders will be tamed, otherwise, they can count their lucky star that they did not suffer the same fate as their colleagues in Addis.

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