The government, yesterday, officially launched the installation and use of speed governors in public and commercial vehicles in an attempt to curb road carnage resulting from speeding.
The launch was held at the Motor Vehicle Inspection Centre in Remera, Gasabo District and started with a demonstration of how the devices work.
The hi-tech device limits vehicles to a maximum speed of 60 kilometres per hour and has the capacity to trim down the speed to 25 kilometres per hour every time the vehicle attempts to exceed the set maximum velocity.
It also has a storage computer which allows controllers or traffic offices to check the previous speed of the vehicle, and errors if the device was tempered with.
The State Minister for Transport, Alexis Nzahabwanimana, who presided over the official launch, warned that “tempering with the devices can amount to a criminal offence” calling it a “deliberate act to undermine the government policy and to violate people’s right to live, which can amount to manslaughter in case of fatal accidents.”
The development comes to enforce the February 2015 Presidential Order relating to installation of speed governors into public service and other commercial vehicles to control the speed of business vehicles, which was viewed as one of the leading causes of fatal accidents.
The launch was also attended by the Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana and partners from Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA), Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) and transporters, among others.
“This is a life-saving act that should be respected; installation of speed governors is a must to all those that fall under this law and enforcing the law will start with immediate effect because transporters had enough time – about a year – to install these devices,” Minister Nzahabwanimana said.
The minister noted that the development goes with ensuring and protecting the lives of the people on roads.
He cautioned drivers with inappropriate behaviour of signaling their colleagues on the whereabouts of the traffic officers, adding that this is an act of abetting accidents that normally occur after bypassing police posts on highways.
“Drivers should do away with the reckless behaviour and respect traffic rules and regulations, and ensure that road safety is the responsibility of everyone. Even those who don’t fall under the Presidential Order are not restricted from acquiring and fitting these devices in their automobiles,” he added.
He thanked all partners for the teamwork to promote road safety and pledged continued government support to save lives of road users.
Commissioner of Police George Rumanzi, commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety department, noted that the tested hi-tech devices are now available, adding that some transporters have already heed the call and installed them in their vehicles.
He appealed to others to follow suit “as soon as possible.” The speed governors are supplied and installed by a local firm, Beno Car Limited.
Meanwhile, vehicle inspection centres have also acquired speed governor simulation tests to control the functioning of the machine.
The use of speed governors was welcomed by the transporters, who also believe that high speed was the major cause of fatal accidents.
“Speed governors will not only regulate the speed at which we move on but also contribute tremendously to reducing road accidents and traffic offences. This also comes with comfort and relaxation on the side of the passengers who will, this time round, not be worried of likely accidents because of reckless speeding by drivers,” Ramathan Nsabimana, a driver with Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperatives, said.
Another driver, Marakia Kamana of Volcano Express, said: “We are the prime beneficiaries because in most cases when an accident occurs, drivers are the first victims. Again, this is also an economic and saving factor because the driver is the one who incurs loses by paying penalties for speeding.”