Road users in rural Rwanda are more prone to accidents- Rwanda National Police findings indicate.
The report that was made public today indicates that road users in the countryside were the most victims of road accidents in the last three months.
From August-October this year, 162 people were killed in road accidents, and 46% of these road fatalities were pedestrians, while 76% of the total crashes registered occurred in the countryside.
According to Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Emmanuel Kabanda, Traffic Police spokesperson, “accident occurrences are high in Kigali city compared to countryside highways. However, death rates are higher in rural areas than in Kigali.”
Kabanda attributes this factor to poor road conditions in the countryside. He said that some drivers relax while on countryside routes where they know that there is no traffic police.
The National Police has launched a month-long Road Safety Campaign in Musanze, Northern Province aiming at educating road users on measures to curb accidents.
According to the Rwanda National Police, the campaign is designed to ensure that all groups of road users are reached and understand how to use the road safely.
“It is a pity that driving from upcountry one is always worried of not reaching safely,” Emmanuel Gasana, Inspector General of Police, said, adding that “despite installation of digital speed governors in public transport buses and transit goods vehicles, accidents keep occurring.”
Referring to new statistics, Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, the State Minister in Charge of Transport in the Ministry of Infrastructure, said “two people are killed in road accidents every day.”
Uwihanganye noted that to curb road accidents, the government is going to construct 450km of roads countrywide, including 80 km in Musanze town alone.
According to Rwanda National Police, motorcyclists account for 18.5% of fatalities while cyclists comprise of 17%, in the last three months.
The first stage of the road Safety campaign will be dedicated to educating pedestrians on how to use walkways, keeping on the left side of the road at all times; using zebra crossings and looking both sides before crossing the road.
The second week will focus on educating motorcyclists, followed by cyclists in the third week. In the fourth and last week, all categories of road users will be brought together for road safety education.
IGP Gasana says Police is moving to zero tolerance to reckless driving, which is the major cause of accidents.
Giving the example of Hanoi, Capital City of Vietnam, a city of 33million inhabitants but with rare accidents, Gasana said that Rwanda Police will not tolerat those who cause traffic accidents.
“Honoi is inhabited by 33million residents but they can spend a whole month without registering any accident,” he said.