As with the ABC (Abstinence, Being Faithful and Condom use) strategy adopted worldwide in fighting against the HIV/Aids pandemic, Rwanda should welcome and embrace Traffic Police Superintendent Robert Niyonshuti’s innovative ‘Triple E’ strategy meant to sensistise drivers to drive safely on the roads.
According to Niyonshuti, the three Es stand for Education, Enforcement and Engineering; and they are the fundamentals for reducing road accidents.
Education is about instructing both drivers and other road users, and also involves how drivers are tested before getting their road permits.
Enforcement regards traffic police and patrol services enforcing the law regarding driving and vehicle roadworthiness; while the last E, Engineering, is to do with the state of the roads together with their road signs and traffic lights.
It is not any wonder therefore that there are reduced traffic accidents throughout the country despite the recent horrendous Kigali-Musanze accident that claimed a dozen lives. With such an organized system of traffic controls, we should have even fewer of them.
Indeed sensitisation, or education for that matter, should take the lion’s share of attention, because ever so often drivers are blamed for accidents that have arisen out of carelessness of pedestrians and motorcycle riders.
Pedestrians use roads as if they have sole proprietorship, often daring cars to knock them down – a tendency that has some truth in the colonial hangover claim that they will then get compensated by insurance companies.
The sobering reality that 49 percent of accidents are caused due to lack of concentration or carelessness should cause major concern. More needs to be done by way of sensitization, like vivid roadside and highway adverts pulling up drivers short to take more notice and drive more alertly.
Meanwhile, Kigali City Council and the Ministry of Infrastructure should do something about the confusing traffic lights that give clearance to traffic to move to directions that have also been cleared for other traffic.
This double clearance very often causes accidents as cars and motorcycle riders rush to beat the other cleared traffic, resulting into crashes.