23 July 2014

Rwanda: Police to Order Public Buses to Fit Speed Governors

In a bid to curb road accidents, the Police - pending ministerial instructions - have issued a directive requiring public transport buses and heavy trucks to install speed governors.

The directive was part of the measures announced yesterday after a high-level meeting convened to review the causes of road accidents.

Yesterday's meeting took place just a day after an accident along the Kigali-Kagitumba highway in Gatsibo claimed 15 lives and left several others injured.

Other measures include imposing severe penalties for defiant drivers, reviewing of existing instructions governing use of bicycles on main roads and setting up of a taskforce to review and monitor road safety measures.

The meeting was convened by the Minister of Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana and attended by the Minister of State for Transport, Alexis Nzahabwanimana, the Inspector General of Police, among others.

According to a statement released by Police, if caught, careless drivers risk having their licenses revoked.

Among the causes of accidents identified were: "Having a negative attitude or bad culture of irresponsibility, exceeding speed limits, using telephones while driving, drunk driving and carelessness."

The meeting agreed on establishing Joint Awareness Task Team comprising ministries of Infrastructure, Local Government, Trade and Industry, Rwanda National Police, Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency, Rwanda Bureau of Standards and Private Sector Federation.

"The Team will verify the current signage status and give a report in one month and re-enforce Motor-vehicle Inspection to ensure road worthiness of vehicles," the statement added.

Tuesday's fatal accident involved a Coaster minibus belonging to Excel Travel Agency that was heading to Kigali from Nyagatare which collided with a commuter omnibus enroute from Kayonza to Nyagatare.

Twenty four other passengers were injured in the accident; 12 critically and were airlifted to Rwanda Military Hospital - Kanombe, CHUK [University Teaching Hospital Kigali], and King Faisal Hospital Kigali.

Medics at the different hospitals said yesterday that those admitted were on steady recovery.

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