NYARUGENGE - The Rwanda National Police (RNP) traffic department, yesterday, launched the ‘Road Safety Week,’ warning that the government will introduce tough measures against those violating traffic regulations.
Road Safety Week is an annual event aimed at raising awareness to enforce road security. It is also aimed at advising road users to fine tune their road culture in the interest of their own safety and that of others
James Musoni, the Minister of Local Government, who presided over the launch in Nyamirambo, Nyarugenge District, said that “new penalties will be introduced to avoid unnecessary loss of lives due to road accidents.”
He noted that the government will continue to provide the requisite facilities to curb the rate of traffic accidents.
“This (road security) should be the role of everyone, not only the police,” Musoni observed.
The Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana , said that about 1,095 deaths and 30,000 injuries were registered over the last three years due to traffic accidents.
“This is because of violating traffic rules – over-speeding, reckless driving, and drunk-driving. This is a problem that needs everyone to get on board to deal with it effectively,” Gasana said.
He commended the partnership between the force and the general public in providing information to ensure security in the country.
Fidele Ndayisaba, the Mayor of the City of Kigali, explained that traffic accidents are one of the major threats to security in the city.
Most of the accidents registered in the country take place in Kigali city where more than 70 percent of registered vehicles are located.
According to police statistics, a total of 277 traffic accidents were registered across the country in the first three months this year, with 72 percent of them in the City of Kigali.
Ndayisaba also warned motorists who distort the city’s beauty by knocking down electric poles and trees that they would be fined accordingly.
Destroying one road-side tree in the city attracts a fine of Rwf 1 million.
“We are committed to implement all the laws to ensure a secure country, Kigali in particular,” noted Ndayisaba.
12-year old Crispin Ishimwe, a pupil at Intwari Primary School, appealed to the government to come to their rescue “because motorists don’t respect traffic rules. They should know that we are future leaders,” stated Ishimwe.
Intwari Primary School is located along the Nyamirambo road.
Among activities to be conducted in the course of the week, is the introduction of new sign posts along roads and deploying more traffic officers.