[PHOTOS]: Police Week: Campaign to promote road safety launched
Rwanda National Police (RNP), yesterday, launched the nationwide campaign to sensitize all categories of road users on traffic rules and regulations so as to promote road safety.
The week-long campaign conducted concurrently across the country is part of the ongoing Police Week launched last week as part of the RNP 18th anniversary.
While addressing thousands of motorcyclists at Amahoro stadium, the State Minister for Transport in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Eng. Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye said that the “life of every Rwandan is valuable.”
“We are constructing roads to link markets, facilitate businesses and easy movement towards sustainable development, but not to kill people at the hands of careless motorists,” the State Minister said.
Police statistics indicate that 38 percent of all fatalities registered in this year’s first four months were either caused or involved motorcyclists. Overall, road accidents dropped by 5.5 per cent in the same period; however, those caused by motorcycles increased by 15 per cent.
Out of 138 people who died in accidents in the last four months, 46.7 per cent of them were motorcyclists. 246 injuries including 53 life-threatening injuries were also registered.
“With about 60, 000 motorcyclists across the country, those are jobs created; earning and supporting their families, and contributing to the development of the country, but people should feel safe using your motorcycles rather than feeling threatened,” Eng. Uwihanganye said.
He also urged owners or heads of travel agencies and motorcycle cooperatives to take an upper hand in enforcing road safety standards and take internal measures against errant members.
He further said that measures have been taken to control and manage commercial motorcyclists including compulsory installation of GPS in all motorcycles, which will help the Police to trace members that violate traffic rules or implicated in criminal acts.
The Deputy Inspector General in charge of Operations, Dan Munyuza said that majority accidents are preventable, citing over speeding, bad maneuvers, riding while drunk or under the influence of alcohol, and speaking phone as some of the major causes of fatal accidents.
“When you wake up going to work is because you want to make money, develop as a person and support your families; you don’t wake up going to kill yourself,” DIGP Munyuza said.
He disclosed that about 1200 motorcycles have been impounded in the City of Kigali alone in the past few months over serious traffic offenses including lack of driver’s license and insurance.
The Deputy IGP, however, thanked some motorcyclists for their responsiveness against crimes. He was referring to a motorcyclist, who last week intercepted a woman, who had stolen a baby in Kabuga.
The motorcyclist, after suspecting that the woman he was transporting could have stolen the baby, he took them to the Police station, and the baby was given back to the biological mother and suspect detained.
According to the newly elected president of the federation of motorcycle cooperatives, Daniel Ngarambe, they are building a database to register every commercial motorcyclist and owners of motorcycles, which will also help to trace implicated wrongdoers, keep records of their members’ behavior and help them to take action against errand members including expelling them.
Ngarambe also said they are going to issue service card for every member for easy identification, as well as organizing them in clusters through which they will be discussing major issues related to safety, security and development.
The countrywide activities also involved painting zebra crossings or creating new ones and erecting signposts in hotspots, and putting stickers on cars and motorcycles with road safety messages.
In the Western Province, Deputy IGP in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda also delivered road safety tips to drivers and motorcyclists in Rubavu District, and urged them to partner in security and development aspects.
In the Southern Province, Governor Marie Rose Mureshyankwano also appealed to motorists to value their lives and that of other road users.
Similar messages were also delivered in the Northern and Eastern where provincial officials and senior police officers engaged drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists in Gicumbi and Nyagatare, respectively, where the road safety week was launched.