Road accidents are avoidable if traffic rules are strictly respected by road users including pedestrians, passengers, motorists and cyclists.
The message was delivered by Chief Inspector of Police, Emmanuel Kabanda, the spokesperson for traffic and road safety department in a road safety awareness drive held in Gatsata Sector of Gasabo District on Thursday.
About 300 road users including drivers, motorcyclists and area residents turned up for the campaign which also attracted local leaders.
The exercise is part of the continued awareness on traffic rules and road safety.
In his message, CIP Kabanda reminded the public that most accidents occur due to avoidable negligence by road users especially drivers, who choose to over speed or drive under the influence of intoxicants, or indulge in other dangerous and careless actions.
“Many accidents and driving mistakes are due to bad driving habits such as driving while distracted, driving carelessly, driving aggressively and failing to inspect vehicles for mechanical problems. Many times, even pedestrians cross the roads carelessly, and this single act can cause a devastating accident,” he said.
“Driving or cycling requires a person’s complete attention, yet many drivers are distracted by things such as eating, talking or texting on cell phones. People who are more observant are more likely to focus while driving and thus avoid accidents.”
He added that some drivers fail to obey traffic laws and basic attention to changing road conditions, while some race through traffic lights and fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.
“The consequences of such actions could result in arrests or heavy traffic fines, loss of driver’s license, while on the civil action side, a careless driver may face a lawsuit that involves compensating victims,” he warned.
“The key to safe driving is to break bad driving habits and paying attention to all road regulations while avoiding careless or distracted behavior.”
The Executive Secretary of Gastata Sector, Gertrude Urujeni, commended Rwanda National Police (RNP) for reaching out to citizens with vital information to protect their lives.
She urged residents and road users to put the advice into action.
“Rwanda is a country that is steadily developing; Rwandans are known for abiding by the law. We should continue abiding by the law and break bad driving habits which lead to accidents that can cause serious injuries and loss of lives,” she said.
“I therefore beseech you to take heed of the advise and respect traffic rules and exercise proper care and attentiveness which is needed while using the roads.”
Participants also engaged in debates and discussions on how to efficiently partner with Police through community policing by reporting bad road users and delivering timely information to facilitate Police investigations in road accidents.