MPs to decide fate of right-hand drive cars

The Ministry of Infrastructure is scheduled to propose a bill on the way forward on right-hand drive cars, officials have said. Dominique Rurangirwa, an officer in charge of transport at the ministry, made the announcement recently during an interview with The New Times.

The Ministry of Infrastructure is scheduled to propose a bill on the way forward on right-hand drive cars, officials have said.

Dominique Rurangirwa, an officer in charge of transport at the ministry, made the announcement recently during an interview with The New Times.

In 2005, the Government issued a four-year ultimatum for right-hand drive vehicle owners to get rid of them. And with the deadline set to elapse next year, a ban was slapped on importation of such cars.

However, Rurangirwa said that the Ministry of Infrastructure is currently assessing the situation to help draft an appropriate legal instrument for Parliament.

"I am optimistic that the Government will look into that soon and take proper decisions," he added.

Innocent Kabogoza, the in-charge of Transport and Government fleet at the same ministry, acknowledged that the period left is very little, yet many cars are still in good mechanical condition.

He assured the public that the Government will be considerate when taking such decisions that directly affect the people.

"So there is no cause for alarm and people with those types of cars don’t have to panic," he added.

The ultimatum states in part: ‘all motor vehicles registered in Rwanda must have a steering apparatus on the left hand side. However, motor vehicles in transit and those belonging to foreigners visiting Rwanda with a steering apparatus on the right hand-side are allowed for a period not exceeding three months.’

"But when the period of three months expires, an authorization from the minister who has transport in his/her attribution will be required. People already owning motor vehicles with steering apparatus contrary to the above have a period not exceeding four years to have respected it starting from the day of its signature," the ultimatum adds.

The Government says the measure is aimed at promoting road safety since motorists in Rwanda drive on the right hand side of the road.

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