[PHOTOS]: Police, partners discuss measures to end road carnage
Rwanda National Police (RNP), transporters and other stakeholders in road safety, on November 19, held a meeting to further discuss ways to prevent accidents and sustain road security.
The consultative meeting held at the RNP General Headquarters, brought together representatives from Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA), Road Guarantee Fund (SGF), Rwanda Information Society (RISA), Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) and transporters’ cooperatives, among others.
The meeting, which is part of the ongoing Road Safety Week, was convened to gather ideas, engage partners and generate additional approaches to combat road traffic accidents and issues that contribute to road fatalities.
Among the measures adopted during the meeting include streamlining the training syllabus for driving schools and to establish operating regulations for transporters’ cooperatives whose drivers’ litter roads.
They also resolved to establish commercial cyclists’ cooperatives as well as their operating hours. Cyclists fall among the majority victims or cause of accidents.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyunza, while officially opening the meeting, called for renewed commitment of all stakeholders if existing plans to prevent road accidents are to be achieved.
The experiences in Rwanda, he said, have shown that partnership and ownership at all levels in implementing agreed plans lead to enormous results, adding that even preventing accidents is possible through such similar set-up.
He urged vehicle owners and transport cooperatives to undertake serious disciplinary measures against their errant drivers since it is possible to identify them using the existing technologies.
Accidents down by 20 percent
Road accidents generally reduced by 20 percent in this year’s first nine months compared to the same period last year.
The reduction is attributed to the installation of speed governors in cargo and passenger service vehicles. Speed governors, which regulate vehicles on the maximum speed of 60km per hour, are automatically monitored by the RNP Traffic and Road Safety Department.
The system helps to identify the vehicle with the speed governor that was tampered with, making it easy to notify the nearest traffic officer along that route.
“These statistics clearly shows that the current situation is untenable; we still lose people due to avoidable human behavior such as over speeding, reckless maneuvers, driving while drunk or using the phone, which can be overcome through collective actions. Reassess your role and efforts to combat threats to road security in your different transport businesses and propose sustainable responses,” IGP Munyuza said.
Reckless driving accounted for 42 percent of the total accidents with 24 percent caused by over-speeding.
At least 437 fatalities were recorded in the nine months, down from 549 that occurred in the same period last year. Over serious 660 injuries were also registered in the same period.
“Think about consequences to the country’s economy and social well-being of affected communities; we obviously must wake up!” the Police Chief said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for RISA, Innocent Bahizi also urged the transporters to invest in technology to facilitate them to control their automobiles and their drivers, which will contribute in curbing accidents.
He said they project to achieve 100 per cent compliance in the utilization of ICTs in public organization by the year 2024.