Public transport operators have until the end of November to install speed governors in their vehicles, according to a new directive announced by the Minister for Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana.
The directive is part of the implementation of a presidential order issued in February this year relating to installation of speed governors into public service vehicles and other commercial vehicles.
The move was announced following a meeting between the government organs in charge of security and transport and public transport operators in Kigali yesterday.
A speed governor is a device installed in motor vehicles to measure and regulate the speed ensuring it does not go beyond a certain set speed limit.
To facilitate the process of adoption of the order, Harelimana said a committee will be set up to develop a strategy to ensure that all public transport vehicles are equipped with speed governors without disruption of their businesses.
“We have established an ad hoc committee that will, in two days, come up with a roadmap of how we are going to ensure speed governors are fixed in public transport vehicles without affecting businesses and in the agreed upon time frame,” Minister Harelimana said.
Minister of State for Transport, Alexis Nzahabwanimana said the decision to give a short timeline to comply to the directive was to ensure no further lives are lost as a result of preventable road accidents.
“We have for long embarked on sensitisation and it’s now time to implement some of these decisions. If we had fixed the speed governors in February, we could have saved some lives; that’s why we need to enforce it now without delay. Also we are going to embark on revoking licences of drivers that have a bad track record of accidents,” Nzahabwanimana said.
As part of the implementation of the order, stricter rules will also be imposed to curb drunk driving and over speeding.
Deputy Inspector General of Police in Charge of Operations (DIGP) Dan Munyuza, called on owners of the public buses to come up with a way of banning alcohol among their drivers, adding that the Traffic and Road Safety Department was to assess and measure physical and mental fitness of drivers.
Among other decisions taken is to ensure that buses commuting long distance must have more than one driver to avoid fatigue which has been among causes of such accidents.
The operators have also been given until the end of the year to ensure that all public transport drivers have job contracts in accordance with labour laws.