We have long agreed that speaking on one’s mobile phone while driving is bad behaviour that could easily land one in hot soup. But this is one of the numerous stunts that some Rwandan drivers continue to engage in.
A wise moviemaker would not need to hire an expensive stuntman for a scene involving dangerous driving-any ordinary motorist qualifies.
I have seen many things on Rwandan roads but I was horrified to witness a woman driver taking instructions over her mobile phone and jotting notes down in her diary.
Now you can do this in dead traffic where you might be literally parked for an hour or two. But, believe it or not, this woman was doing all this while trying to squeeze in between taxis at the main Roundabout in town.
The reason I noticed is because she almost succeeded in squashing an old lady who was trying to cross the road.
Another incident that got me totally scared happened one early morning along Kimironko Road. While everyone is in a hurry to get to work on time, it is understandable that we are always rushed and may leave the house hurriedly.
On this fateful morning, I saw one woman in a dark blue RAV4 who was taking her usual breakfast at the steering wheel. She munched samosa after samosa while gulping a liquid that looked like hot tea, and still comfortably managed to keep her car moving.
Any commuter will attest that taxi drivers can easily scuffle one’s composure. I once witnessed a taxi driver in Nyamirambo fish out a pack of cigarettes from deep inside his inner pockets and proceed to light one while shifting gears and steering the car forward.
At the same time, he was on the aggressive lookout for any taxis trying to overtake. To allow that to happen in the taxi trade, as we all know, is tantamount to career suicide.
Taxi drivers are infamous multi-taskers. If not lighting a cigarette, a driver might be sorting out change for his tout as he flips through hundreds of CDs philosophically pondering which to play for his passengers.
Most men are also notorious for playing Superman while driving. We all know the effect of alcohol. One of the most refreshing media interventions I ever witnessed was the one that counselled: ‘Don’t drink and drive. If you must drink, drink milk’.
Of course it’s not just the motorists that exhibit bad tendencies on the road. Motorcyclists - by virtue of riding a motorbike in Kigali - are stuntmen with a death wish.
The Highway Code may state that motorcyclists should be accorded due respect on the road, but these fellows ride their motorbikes in a manner that suggests that they may not mind colliding with a vehicle.
However, this madness on our roads have been duly kept under control by the impressive Traffic Police and this is to be enhanced further by the recent installation of cameras on the main highways in the country which will help to monitor traffic offenders.