KIGALI - A week dedicated to the national road safety campaign in Rwanda was officially launched yesterday, with fresh Zebra crossing lines being painted all over Kigali city.
Officiating at the launching function, the acting Commissioner General of Police, Mary Gahonzire, urged road users to heed safety precautions in order to prevent road accidents, especially during the busy forthcoming festive season.
“As the festive season sets in, it’s on record that most accidents are expected and it should be every one’s responsibility to act against careless road usage,” she said.
She added that a special awareness campaign to promote safety on the road was underway since the problem of accidents was a big threat in the world at large and Africa in particular.
“During the week, we shall conduct training workshops for drivers and motorists, leaders of transport companies, pedestrians and other road users,” said the police chief.
Gahonzire also pointed out that drunken driving; the main cause of accidents should be concurrently tackled with drivers’ lack of respect for traffic lights, over speeding and zebra crossings.
“Motorcyclists should always remember to keep lights and helmets on. Drivers should also observe speed limits in and out of the city and avoid driving while tired,” she emphasized adding that foreign travel companies must also respect Rwanda’s traffic rules.
“We will also ensure that companies from outside like Jaguar and Gaso (Uganda) and Amahoro of Bujumbura also abide by our rules,” she concluded.
The head of the Public Transport Commuters’ Association (ATRACO) Col. (Rtd) Dodo Twahirwa said that to rebuild the infrastructure which was destroyed during the 1994 Genocide is an effort that needs collective responsibility.
“It is only possible to promote road safety if we take the responsibility individually. Drivers and pedestrians should observe one another while using the road,” said Twahirwa.
MTN Rwanda, who are sponsoring the campaign have done this as a way of marking their 10th anniversary of operating in Rwanda.
The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Themba Khumalo, said that this was part of his company’s corporate social responsibility which would identify them with good intentions in addition to the communication services they provide.
“The company wishes to pledge support to the police in educating the public on how best to use the communication facilities they poses. If you get a phone call while driving, one should stop and talk,” Khumalo said.