Take drastic measures to end road carnage

Editor, RE: “Families of Rwamagana accident victims identified” (The New Times, September 23).
The Tanzania-registered cargo truck that smashed into an oncoming minibus at Akabuga ka Musha in Rwamagana District, on Monday, killing 18 people on the spot and injuring two others. Police blamed the accident on speeding. (File)
The Tanzania-registered cargo truck that smashed into an oncoming minibus at Akabuga ka Musha in Rwamagana District, on Monday, killing 18 people on the spot and injuring two others. Police blamed the accident on speeding. (File)

Editor,

RE: “Families of Rwamagana accident victims identified” (The New Times, September 23).

Akabuga ka Musha is a well known black spot where many lives have been lost in road accidents that frequently involve foreign heavy transport trucks whose drivers lose control because of speeding, overload, mechanical faults or driver fatigue.

An accident on May 6 last year that resulted in four fatalities and two injured people close to the same place as this week’s bloodbath also involved a Tanzanian commercial transport truck whose driver lost control as it descended at Akabuga ka Musha because of faulty brakes and rammed into another, oncoming vehicle and a motorcycle.

Given the frequency of accidents in these well-known black spots, our police need to take drastic action — especially with foreign drivers and foreign-registered transporters — to stop or at least substantially reduce road carnage.

Rwanda cannot accept that her people continue to pay heavily for irresponsible behaviour on our roads.

More stringent vehicle inspections are required before any heavy transport trucks are allowed on our roads. To avoid any charges that may represent non-tariff barriers to commerce within the EAC, these inspections should extend to all heavy vehicles (because they have the potential to cause most deaths and destruction when they are involved in accidents), including Rwandan trucks.

That way, non-Rwandan transporters will not be able to claim that our more stringent vehicle inspection standards are intended for trade protectionism purposes rather than to ensure the safety and security of road users in Rwanda.

Meantime, I join other Rwandans in extending heartfelt condolences to the many bereaved families and pray for the speedy and complete recovery to the injured.

Mwene Kalinda

 

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