The Traffic Department of Rwanda National Police yesterday at the Kigali City main round about launched the second of the three national road safety campaigns it conducts annually.
Traffic Police uses the media, works with transporters’ associations, goes to taxi/bus parks for passengers as they wait for or in vehicles, all in an effort to communicate to as many members of their target audience as possible.
And it works. Because according to the Ag. Commissioner General of Police Mary Gahonzire who officiated at the campaign launch, traffic accidents have drastically gone down.
Nevertheless, she made a pledge to the effect that her officers, men and women will remain as vigilant as they have always been.
Road users comprise people moving fast in vehicles and on bikes on the one hand, and those moving slowly on foot (pedestrians) on the other.
Some of the rules reiterated by Traffic Police are similar, though they concern the two – three if you like – categories of drivers and riders, and pedestrians in different ways.
Consider for instance drink driving, zebra crossing and traffic lights; observance of related rules is required on all. Driving under the influence of alcohol is as dangerous as staggering on the road.
In much the same way, people crossing the road at the zebra sign/traffic lights ought to do so as fast as the approaching vehicles and bikes ought to slow down.
There are other rules that affect only drivers and riders such as the restraint against over speeding. Then there is the life-saver seatbelt rule exclusively for drivers and passengers.
Policemen and women manning the roads are also not without guidelines. For example, they should not suddenly jump into the middle of the road in an attempt to stop a vehicle that has been caught by the red lights.
Noting down the number of the disobedient vehicle in order to trace it at another stage would do. It takes discipline, at times humility, in every road user for safety to be an assurance and not a chance.
Above all, it takes understanding that it is for our own good that the Traffic Police staff are sometimes uncompromising.