[PHOTOS]: Gerayo Amahoro: Special hire taxis urged on road discipline
Special hire taxi-motorists have been urged to respect traffic regulations and consider the repercussions of abusing road safety standards to their livelihood.
The call was made on Wednesday as Rwanda National Police (RNP) met with taxi-drivers across the country as part of the ongoing year-long road safety campaign dubbed ‘Gerayo Amahoro.’
Commissioner of Police (CP) Rafiki Mujiji, the Commissioner for Traffic Road and Safety department, while addressing special hire motorists in Remera, Gasabo District, reminded them of their role in national security, which he said include respect for road safety standards to prevent road carnage.
He said that at least one person die every day due to accidents mainly caused by human behaviors.
“You may think that one person dying every day is not too much, but imagine how many people we lose in a year… more than 300 and it is not because we have bad roads, neither natural disasters but the behaviors of road users,” CP Mujiji said.
“Police took the initiative of educating and reminding people how their safety must be their priority. Drivers, like all other road users, must change their attitudes on the road,” he added.
Taxi drivers were also reminded of the common human behaviours that result into deadly accidents such as using the phone while driving, speeding and drunkenness.
They were also urged to respect pedestrians’ rights mostly Zebra Crossing.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jean Marie Vianney Ndushabandi, while speaking to special hire taxi drivers operating in Nyarugenge district, said that although traffic accidents caused by taxi-motorists are minimal, “everything must be done to prevent any accident.”
He explained that indiscipline of some special hire taxi-motorists is considered the most recurring cause of accidents involving taxis.
SSP Ndushabandi said the sustained public education campaign is meant to raise understanding and invoke positive actions towards proper road usage.
“The campaign will prompt all road users to always focus and think on avoidance and prevention of accidents, which largely goes with respect for traffic rules and regulations,” he said.
“By engaging all categories of drivers at the earliest opportunity – through face-to-face contact and the distribution of posters and leaflets – we are making them fully aware of the rules and their own responsibility,” explained SSP Ndushabandi.
The exercise to engage taxi-motorists was conducted in major towns across the country with police carrying messages about road safety.
Jean Claude Kabanda, the chairperson of Taxi-drivers Association said that they have to play their vital role in road security.
“We are now cautious on road safety; we understand how the safety of our passengers is so important. We want them to arrive safely. People should die due to sicknesses but not from accidents, which are preventable,” Kabanda said.
Moses Karangwa, one of the taxi-drivers said there is need for more sessions on road safety with all road users to have a common understanding on proper road usage.
“We appreciate what Police do to remind us that our safety comes first, and we are committed to teaching our fellow drivers. We expect change by the end of this campaign,” Karangwa said.