Police report lower rate of traffic offences during the festive season

Traffic offences have over the past three months reduced by 12 per cent and the Police plan to intensify the use of speed governors and other e-Policing tools in 2017 to reduce them further.
Rumanzi (L) explains to Justice minister Johnston Busingye how the new hi-tech traffic control device works. File.
Rumanzi (L) explains to Justice minister Johnston Busingye how the new hi-tech traffic control device works. File.

Traffic offences have over the past three months reduced by 12 per cent and the Police plan to intensify the use of speed governors and other e-Policing tools in 2017 to reduce them further.

The e-Policing and rollout of speed governors, especially in public transport will, according to Police, see a further significant decline in traffic offences during 2017.

At a news conference yesterday, Police said they will also strive to ensure quick and efficient services on the roads.

Addressing the media, senior police officers stated that during the just-concluded festive period (December 24 to January 1), accidents claimed lives of eight people while six others sustained severe injuries.

According to George Rumanzi, the commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety at Rwanda National Police, security status throughout the entire festive season was generally calm with minor incidents while all the programmed entertainment events went on smoothly.

“The situation in general was fine across the country, all entertainment events were conducted peacefully and the police have made necessary reinforcement in terms of prevention and orientation for revellers,” he said.

Rumanzi further cleared the air on the two shooting incidents that happened around the Kigali Convention Centre, which resulted into the death of one person and the incarceration of another.

According to Rumanzi, the shooting was the last resort by the police officer to contain a person who was not identified and whose vehicle was driving at a high speed after violations of more than three traffic rules.

“The Police had secured and designated entertainment areas, there were signposts, and we had erected barricades on top of deploying police officers,” he said.

“The deceased disregarded signposts, overran the barricade and almost knocked down a traffic police officer. The officer was left with no option in this time when vehicles are being used as weapons across the world,” he added.

Toy Nzamwita was shot dead early morning hours of December 30 as he drove through police manned blockade near MTN Roundabout, adjacent to Kigali Convention Centre.

The other shooting involved a man who also tried to drive through the Kigali Convention Centre and was stopped but drove through the barricade. His car tyres were shot before he stopped and has since been arrested.

Eleven cars were also impounded over different infractions by motorists during the festive period, Police said. Cases of petty theft, drug abuse, transaction of counterfeited money and other minor offences were registered across the country.

“We would like to commend members of the public because they played an important role in the assurance of security during the period, the noise was moderated mostly in churches and entertainment venues, in fact we received no complaints about noise pollution,” said Celestin Twahirwa, the in-charge of community policing.

Twahirwa said coordination and compliance within members of the public will continue to be key in the New Year.

“Some of the strategies we seek to enforce in 2017 will be more about the usage of speed governors; sensitisation on the role of community policing; improvement of automated services, mainly through E-Policing to facilitate efficient delivery of services,” he added.

Police indicated late last year that prevalence of crimes evolved around assault, drug abuse, defilement, house break-ins and threats without use of violence.

While the top five crimes constitute about 73 per cent of the total infractions registered, drug-related crimes make 29.93 per cent (2,964), having decreased from 3,197 and 3,072 cases registered in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

In the last three months, 114 people died in road accidents, 350 were seriously injured while 730 sustained minor injuries, Police reports show.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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