[PHOTOS]: Road Safety: RNP launches ‘Gerayo Amahoro’ campaign
The Government of Rwanda, on Monday, launched a 52-week road safety campaign to sensitize all categories of road users on traffic rules and regulations so as to promote road safety in the country.
The 52-Week campaign dubbed Gerayo Amahoro (Arrive Alive) is meant to develop and implement sustainable road safety strategies and programs, increase road safety awareness towards mindset change to prevent road carnage.
The campaign was conducted concurrently in all bus terminals across the country where drivers, motorcyclists, heads of transport agencies, cyclists, pedestrians and passengers converged.
CP George Rumanzi and CP Bruce Munyambo with passengers following the driver elastrating road safety tips to passengers.
It is conducted by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda National Police (RNP), Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) as well as transport agencies, among others.
State Minister for Transport, Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, while speaking at the official launch of the campaign at Nyabugogo bus terminal in Nyarugenge District, said the decision to conduct the education campaign for 52 weeks was informed by the previous one week campaign saw accidents reducing by about 60 percent.
He said road accidents, on average, claim at least one life every day.
“One death on our roads is too many, and there is more we can all do to get the road fatalities down to zero, the government is absolutely determined to reduce the devastation and trauma that is seen on our roads," Minister Uwihanganye said.
Eastern Province Governor Fred Mufurukye.
At least 465 people died in road accidents last year, while 654 others sustained injuries in the same period.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda, explained that the campaign will be sustained for the 52 weeks to ripe the gains of continuous public awareness. He noted that it will focus on law enforcement, road safety education and emergency responses.
The campaign, he said, should not be seen as policing, but as a “life-saving matter.”
“One moment of inattention, one bad decision to race through the a red light or over speeding could mean lifetime in a wheelchair, painful operations or permanent health issues, or worse still death,” DIGP Marizamunda said.
He explained that police records show most accidents are caused by unbecoming human behaviors.
“Speeding, alcohol, using a phone while driving, and drugs, fatigue, bad maneuvers and violating traffic control lights continue to be among the major cause of deaths on road,” DIGP Marizamunda said.
Gerayo Amahoro will feature a range of education resources, including easy follow up of guidelines, a routine briefing session by all public service drivers on the rights and obligations of both the driver and passengers before embarking on any journey.
Others are audio-visual messages to be played in vehicles and bus stations highlighting behaviours and attitudes to improve road safety, including speed limits, wearing helmets, no using cell phones while driving or riding, or driving while drunk and other road safety standards.
Road users speak out
RNP also developed audio-visual road safety message, which were also distributed in travel agencies to educate passengers and their role in preventing fatalities on road.
Jean de Dieu Nzabamwita, the manager of Excel Tours—a travel agency—said that they will benefit a lot from the campaign.
“We have more than 7000 clients per day; if they can understand the message and implement it we will see some changes. Our company will benefit because in accidents we lose so many things, not only we lose people’s lives but also our vehicles are destroyed. We hope it will change the attitudes of drivers and the rights of passengers on respect for traffic rules,” he stated.
Governor Western Province Alphonse Munyentwali and the RPC CP Rogers Rutikanga putting a sticker on a vehicle.
Felix Bosesibamwe, a passenger, said raising awareness will save many lives.
“In many cases passengers in commuters, on motorcycles or even pedestrians are victims of reckless behaviours of drivers and motorcyclists, changing their attitudes will save many lives,” Bosesibamwe said.
“This is a good initiative to teach all categories of road users, no doubt by the end of 52 weeks we will see fruits,” Valantin Rukundo a driver in Kigali Bus Services, observed.