By Jean Ndahimana
The Rwanda National Police (RNP) month-long road safety campaign will start today as the force continues to educate road users on proper road usage, and further curb down fatalities
The official launch will be held in Musanze District.
The launch of the road safety campaign follows a joint meeting of road users and policymakers, last week that concluded with various measures to prevent fatalities.
According to Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Emmanuel Kabanda, the outreach activities will last for a month, and will be conducted in four phases.
“The first week will focus on educating pedestrians on road safety standards, and how safe they can use roads. Pedestrians comprise the majority road users going to work, school and other development activities, and it’s crucial that they understand how to use the road safely without either causing or involving in an accident,” CIP Kabanda said.
According to the road safety report for the last three months, pedestrians are the majority victims of road traffic accidents, comprising of at least 46 percent of the fatalities registered between August and October.
Pedestrians also account for 21 percent of the 254 serious injuries registered in the same period.
“We want people to use pedestrian pathways, always use the left hand of the road where they are able to see an automobile coming from the opposite direction; use zebra crossing where they apply, and look both sides before crossing the road,” he added.
The last week’s meeting on road safety, also resolved to develop a safety training and sensitization manual to be adopted in school curriculums and to guide awareness countrywide.
“The second week will focus on motorcyclists followed by cyclists in the third week, and vehicles in the fourth week. The campaign is designed to ensure that all groups of road users are reached and understand how to use the road safely,” Kabanda said.
The road safety report also indicates that motorcyclists account for 18.5 percent of fatalities while cyclists comprise of 17 percent, in the last three months.
The introduction of speed governors in passenger vehicles, however, reduced accidents by 65 percent since February, accounting for 23 percent of total accidents recorded.
At least 76 percent of the total crashes registered occurred in the countryside.
Human behavior especially driving while drunk and using a phone, overloading, speeding and overtaking in hotspots like sharp corners, among others, are said to be the major cause of fatal accidents.