Rwanda National Police (RNP) has urged driving school proprietors to adopt quality standards and modern training methods to produce drivers, who understand and respect road safety standards.
The call was made on Tuesday during a meeting between RNP and owners and representatives of driving schools operating in the country. There are 41 registered driving schools across the country organized under their umbrella association—ANPAER.
The meeting held at the RNP General Headquarters in Kacyiru is part of the ongoing 52-week road safety campaign dubbed Gerayo Amahoro, which is in its 35th week.
RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, said that the importance of driving schools in road safety cannot be overemphasized.
Encouraging safer, professional and modern driving techniques for aspiring drivers, he said, is important in minimizing road accidents caused by human behaviours.
“If only drivers received proper training and road safety education, road accidents would significantly reduce,” CP Kabera said.
“Well trained drivers can make the road safe for everyone, and driving schools can play that important part. We urge you to revise your training manual for aspiring drivers to suit the demands of road safety and produce disciplined drivers to eliminate bad driving habits."
The training, CP Kabera said, should identify the bad behaviors of a driver and Gerayo Amahoro concept should be part of basic training.
CP Rafiki Mujiji, Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety department urged driving school owners to stop traditional methods of teaching which just focus on "passing rather than understanding."
"Adopt some methods that can make your clients good drivers. The training you provide should help drivers to develop positive habits of being more prudent and cautious while on the road to reduce risks," CP Mujiji told proprietors of driving schools.
Callixte Nkundimana, ANPAER spokesperson, said: “Road safety education plays a vital role in shaping the attitude and behavior of drivers, thereby ensuring that they become responsible road users.”
He added: “We do understand that there is need to change the way we teach our students, from now on we will be focusing on behavioral change.”
The meeting was also in preparation of the second round of the joint Gerayo Amahoro campaign in primary and secondary schools scheduled to start on January 14. Over 2000 schools are to be covered in this second round.