Rwanda National Police (RNP) re-launched the Gerayo Amahoro road safety campaign on Thursday, December 8, to further influence behavioral change and to save lives on roads.
The all-out continuous campaign seeks to drive change from road safety by law to road safety by choice and ultimately by culture.
It was stopped prematurely in 2020 after 39 weeks, following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The resumption of the campaign in different parts of the country was presided over by the RNP leadership, provincial Governors and district mayors, among others.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza, while addressing hundreds of taxi-moto operators and cyclists at Kigali stadium, said that despite the reduction in road accidents, many lives continue to be lost at the hands of reckless road users.
"Although accidents reduced this year compared to last year, many people still die on roads. Since the beginning of this year, 9,468 accidents occurred across the country resulting into 617 fatalities.
The majority 183 fatalities involved or were caused by cyclists while other 150 involved taxi-moto operators," IGP Munyuza said.
The decrease in accidents, he said, was due to the installation of speed enforcement cameras, awareness campaigns as well as enforcement to penalize violators.
"People killed on roads are parents and even young people, whose lives are cut short by drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists who use the road recklessly. This is a serious concern that should be given attention by everyone using the road," he added.
The Police Chief said that although the force emphasizes road safety education, errant violators will be penalized and consequently their driver's license revoked, accordingly, to make roads safe for all.
He further warned against drink-driving, one of the major causes of road fatalities.
"No one is stopping you from drinking, but when you do, don't drive or ride. Your life and that of other road users is invaluable. Do not be penalized for violating traffic rules and regulations, and putting your lives on the edge. Use the road responsibly, make safety a priority," IGP Munyuza told Motorcyclists and cyclists.
Today, he said, it's easy for the Police to identify someone, who is driving while drunk using a breathalyzer, but added that the force will soon introduce another device that can detect a person, who is driving under the influence of drugs.
IGP Munyuza also embarked on improvements within the traffic as well as licensing departments, including the decentralization of driving test services, online registration and booking for driving test and mechanical inspection, which is part of the government agenda to take services closer to the people and service delivery.
He added that driving test services will ultimately be extended to the district level as well as activating the automatic notification for those whose mechanical inspection certificate is about to expire.
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IGP Munyuza further reminded taxi-moto operators to respect the mandatory use of fare metre.
"The general sense here is security of the people and the country as you go about your transport business to support your families and the country.
Elsewhere, in the Southern Province, Governor Alice Kayitesi, while speaking to cyclists and motorcyclists at Muhanga stadium, reiterated their impact in family and community development.
"Some of you have families that depend on you. It saddens for a family and government to lose a life in preventable accidents or to have a lifetime injury and unable to support your loved ones.
Think about it and make choices that will keep you safe to support and further develop your families," Governor Kayitesi said.
In the Eastern Province, Governor CG Emmanuel K. Gasana told Motorcyclists and cyclists in Mukarange Sector, Kayonza District, to make choices that keeps them safe on road.
"You wake up in the morning going to work, to make money, and to improve your social wellbeing, but that goes with making safer choices to go back home safe and with hope for another day and another year," Governor Gasana said.
While addressing hundreds of Motorcyclists and cyclists in Musanze District, the Governor of the Northern Province, Dancille Nyirarugero urged them to use the road safely and respect rights of other road users.
In the Western Province, Governor Francois Habitegeko echoed the same message and urged road users to value lives by observing traffic rules and regulations.