A recent police report indicated that 72 percent of the 277 road accidents that were recorded across the country since the year begun, occurred in the City of Kigali alone.
Although the figure may partly be attributed to the fact that Kigali is home to 70 percent of all the registered vehicles in the country, road accidents could significantly diminish if motorists observed prescribed speed limits, cease to use telephones while driving and respected all other traffic rules.
While the report showed a 27 percent reduction in traffic accidents, compared to the same period last year, enforcement of the law is needed to cut the incidence even further.
Indeed, the latest decision by the national police to organize a ‘traffic safety week’ campaign, every three months, could help address the problem.
But sensitization aside, the traffic police department should be provided with the tools necessary to help enforce discipline on the road.
Road users should also take it upon themselves to report traffic violations so that offenders don’t go unpunished.
As such, an ideal mechanism, including the introduction and display of toll-free lines in public places, should be put in place to facilitate whistle-blowers to alert traffic officers in case of violation.
Nonetheless, motorists must understand that, at the end of the day, their failure to observe basic traffic rules puts their own lives in great danger, as well as those of other road users.
There are tough penalties for traffic offences, but enforcing them appropriately will require everyone’s role, not just traffic police.