The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Driving Schools Urged to Join Anti-Graft War

SIXTY owners and heads of driving schools in the country, on Monday, started a three-day training in managerial and road safety standards, with a call to fight corruption, which is at times reported in these schools.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Stanley Nsabimana, while officially opening the course at the Police Headquarters in Kacyiru, observed that some driving licence seekers bribe heads or employees of driving schools to either facilitate them pass the tests or register them for the tests without going through normal procedures.

Normally, anyone enrolled in a driving school is supposed to undergo a mandatory 30 days of training.

But there have been reports that some of the candidates do not undertake such lessons.

Some driving licence seekers have previously been arrested for either trying to bribe police officers or owners and heads of driving schools.

The training, the first of its kind in the last seven years, is part of police efforts to combat road traffic accidents, which claim about 380 people every year.

"Driving schools play a big role in ensuring road safety. Such training will therefore aid the two parties -schools and police - to accomplish their duties in curbing road accidents and enforcing road safety," Nsabimana stated.

"Fighting corruption will further improve on the quality of services and produce quality drivers with skills and knowledge of traffic rules," he said, challenging them to include, among the lessons they offer, fighting graft.

During the three-day training, participants, who represent all the 67 driving schools in the country, will be briefed on public transport policy, road safety and on how to fight corruption and ensure ethics.

Celestin Rwiyamira, the owner of Midland Driving School in Kigali, commended the training.

"We last had such course in 2005. It is essential to have such courses periodically to acquire more knowledge and skills in road safety to pass on to our students," Rwiyamira noted.

Julienne Uwanziga, of Youth Driving School in Huye District, said this is an "opportunity for us to improve on the quality of our services."

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