RWAMAGANA - Local leaders and police in the province have blamed cyclists for the rising number of accidents which are occurring in different districts of the Eastern Province. “Cyclists are reckless and do not observe any of the safety regulations.
We have no alternative, but to restrict their movements, especially from accessing tarmac roads,” police officials said at a sensitisation meeting on Thursday.
Protais Murayira, the Mayor of Kirehe district reiterated the need to limit bicycles to operate only on unpaved roads.
“Most of the accidents reported in our district, must have involved a cyclist. We can’t allow this to continue,” he said, citing recent fatal accidents in Mushikiri and Nyakarambi in Kirehe.
Rwamagana Mayor, Nehemi Uwimana said that his district and police have banned all bicycles from operating on tarmac roads.
He, however, noted that to enforce the ban requires tough measures and cooperation between both the police and the local leaders.
“We have warned the cyclists but they don’t seem to heed our call. We have liaised with the police for the purposes of enforcing the ban,” he said.
However, operators of bicycle taxis have expressed dissatisfaction with the ban from main roads, saying authorities are blocking their source of income.
“Yes, bicycles are involved in accidents, just like other road users. We need to make ends meet because of the work we do. Authorities need to come up with measures that will not drive us out of business,” said Alfred Mutabazi a cyclist.
It also emerged that police in conjunction with local leaders, recently carried an operation to remove bicycles from the main roads.