The Traffic Police Chief, ACP John Bosco Kabera, has said that over 150, 000 citizens have registered to sit diving permit test expected to take place this week.
He made the remarks on Monday at the official launch of the Road Safety Week which is part of the 10th anniversary of the Rwanda National Police.
The massive registration and issuing of driving licenses is part of the anniversary celebrations that are set to last two months and which will be characterized by several activities by the police.
Kabera added that the police are working round the clock to have all details of the registered candidates posted on the police website so that they can be able to monitor the progress online.
In terms of road safety, the traffic boss said that since 2001, there have been 33,060 road accidents that claimed 3,053 lives and injured 27,000 people.
“In 2004, vehicles in Rwanda were 20,000, and to date, they have increased to 82,000 yet the roads have not increased in size,” said Kabera.
He referred the 2004 World Health Organisation report on the global situation of road safety which indicated that, worldwide, accidents are currently some of the major causes of deaths around the world.
The report also indicates that on average, over 1.2 million people die in accidents while 50 million people are injured annually.
Kabera also raised an alarm over the increasing tendency of mobile phone usage among drivers saying that the vice has became a major concern since it is contributing to road accidents.
He revealed that reckless driving and disrespect of pedestrians’ rights has cost government over Rwf70m on compensation since July last year.
Part of his recommendations, Kabera requested that the Ministry of Education introduces a syllabus on traffic regulations in primary schools to enable children know how to conduct themselves while using roads.
He added; “We request that the Ministry of Infrastructure upgrade and renovate roads to match the number of automobiles in the country and also create clear pathways for pedestrians.”
“Laws governing road safety should as well be amended; punitive measures on drunk driving should be revised in a way that any person caught drunk and driving should immediately lose his driving license and the vehicle be impounded for certain period of time.” said Kabera.
Other requests by Kabera include introduction of speed governors and radars, and activation of the CCTVs on all roads among others.
The Minister of Infrastructure, Vincent Karega who had attended the function immediately announced that his ministry would come up with a quick response to these recommendations by the traffic police.