The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Emmanuel K. Gasana, yesterday, met with owners and representatives of driving schools to review the progress made in exploiting e-Services, particularly Irembo portal, and to draw strategies of future exploitation of electronic services.
During the meeting, the Police chief rooted for enhanced cooperation and partnership in ensuring both Police and driving schools offer quality services to the public.
In turn, the head of the association of driving schools in Rwanda, Jean de Dieu Gishoma, said that due to previous irregularities, they decided to form an association to streamline their work.
This, Gishoma said, was meant to produce highly skilled drivers.
According to George Rumanzi, the commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety department at Rwanda National Police, previous irregularities in driving schools hindered the process of acquiring driver's license.
These, he said, were streamlined with the introduction of e-government services.
Initially, Rumanzi noted, there were many driving schools that had been established targeting precisely collecting revenues from the registration process than teaching road safety standards and driving skills.
“Irembo eliminated intermediaries and bureaucracy which was also a breeding ground for corruption,” Rumanzi said.
“At the time, candidates would register only through MTN for Rwf60 per message; candidates then paid between Rwf5,000 and Rwf35,000 to driving schools to be put on the list for the tests. Other candidates could pay an extra Rwf5,000 to driving schools to follow up on their licence process...all these were illegal fees,” said Rumanzi.
He added that most schools made money from registration-related services other than teaching how to drive.
These irregularities saw the birth of 45 more schools between April 2015 and June 2016 to bring the number to 124.
No new school since Irembo took over the registration services from driving schools. Under Irembo, the online registration is free, fast, transparent and is strictly done individually.
“Applicants get precise online feedback on time; we have also established a help desk that is jointly manned by TRS and RwandaOnline to handle complaints and provide information,” Rumanzi said.
With the new partnership, RNP and driving schools agreed on enhancing their relations and ensure driver’s licence seekers acquire quality services.
Speaking at a news conference at the RNP headquarters in Kacyiru, Rumanzi disclosed that the Traffic department had started penalising defiant public transporters who are yet to install speed governors in their vehicles.
At the news conference, Rumanzi was flanked by RNP spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police Theos Badege, and officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure, and Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA),
“We have had a long and enough time with all those concerned, including RURA, the Ministry of Infrastructure and transporters, discussing the whole process of acquiring and fitting these gadgets. A tender was awarded and the gadgets procured, it’s unfortunate that there are some defiant transporters who have refused to comply, we have now started enforcing the law,” Rumanzi said.
The decision is part of enforcing the February 2015 Presidential Order relating to installation of speed governors into public service vehicles and other commercial vehicles.
“The highway traffic is currently enforcing this law and taking appropriate action; the motor-vehicle inspection centres are also checking if these gadgets are installed, functioning and if they were not tampered with,” he added.
The hi-tech device limits vehicles to the maximum speed of 60 kilometres per hour and has the capacity to trim down the speed to at least 25 kilometres per hour every time the vehicle attempts to exceed the set maximum velocity.
It also has a storage computer that allows controllers or traffic officer to check the previous speed of the vehicle and errors if the device was tempered with.
According to RURA, the cost of a gadget and its installation vary between Rwf200,000 and Rwf300,000 depending on the vehicle.
Only 640 vehicles have installed speed governors, according to RURA.