The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Road Accidents Can Decrease Through Responsible Behaviour

editorial

The 2012 police accidents report indicates that 308 people lost in road accidents last year.

May recorded the most fatalities with 44 deaths followed by July with 42 while less deaths were recorded in June when 23 people lost their lives and April when 24 deaths were reported.

Thirty three people lost their lives in road accidents in the Eastern Province alone, between August and October last year.

Express taxis plying the Kigali-Nyagatare route have been reported to be notorious for violating traffic regulations, where drivers take advantage of absence of traffic police in remote areas to abuse traffic rules.

Motorcyclists who sometimes carry more than one person and operate without licences have also contributed to accidents on our roads.

Most accidents were a result of negligence and over-speeding.

The causes of the accidents in 2012 were not any different from what caused the fatal accidents in 2011.

Although there was a slight decrease in the number of accidents in 2012 compared to 2011, this number is still high.

The innovation by the police to educate the public on traffic rules during the traffic week and the recent move not to offer driving licence tests to candidates who have not undergone a mandatory 30 days of training are both commendable.

It comes as a boon to efforts by the Rwanda National Police to improve on road safety.

More traffic police have to be deployed on the highways and increase humps and Zebra crossings to limit speed, particularly in congested areas.

But the most effective approach is self policing.

Accidents which claim the lives of many Rwandans take a heavy toll on the health sector.

In addition, they cause social, economic and emotional hardships.

But all hope is not lost. We can all make a difference if we exhibit cautious behaviour on our roads.

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