Authorities in Eastern Province have raised the red flag over the increasing loss of lives in road accidents.
Some 99 people have perished in road carnage this year, with Nyagatare and Gatsibo districts recording the biggest number of accidents.
This was disclosed during the provincial ordinary security meeting that attracted Governor Odette Uwamariya, army and Police officers, mayors, sector leaders, Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority officials and other stakeholders yesterday.
The local leaders appealed to all road users, including pedestrians, motor vehicle drivers, and cyclists to be more responsible.
Police had already issued warnings for extra caution on the roads, after two passenger service vehicles crashed head-on in Gatsibo District, killing 16 people.
Police said the deaths from road accidents have been continually rising in the last several months. Police also noted that most of the cases were mainly caused by traffic-related problems and the lack of discipline among the involved drivers.
Governor Uwamariya, who presided over the meeting, reiterated the need to scale up efforts to end road carnage.
Uwamariya urged the public to stand up against reckless drivers, adding the accidents shouldn’t be tolerated anymore.
“We are here to discuss a serious issue…accidents have been on the increase on our roads. Taxi owners and drivers should tell us what to do to end the accidents… they know better,” she said.
“This is sheer lack of respect for human life. How do you drive 39 passengers when chatting on phone? Passengers and any road users, including local leaders, should alert the Police in case they see such drivers.”
Issa Ngezi, a representative of International Express Transport Company, said the loss of lives in accidents was highly regrettable.
He said transport companies were deeply concerned with the accidents, adding that they were doing something to stop it.
Deo Muvunyi, the in-charge of transport at Rura, said government was setting stern measures to check the accidents, adding that drivers’ code of conduct will soon be unveiled.
“Drivers, particularly those carrying passengers, will be under scrutiny. There are vocational cards that will be given to drivers respecting the code. Errant drivers will receive heavy punishment, including cancelling their licences,” he said.