The Rwanda National Police (RNP) department of traffic and road safety has reminded public transporters to observe road safety standards especially during the evacuation of students come next week, when schools are breaking off for holidays.
The commissioner for the traffic department, Commissioner of Police (CP) George Rumanzi noted that traffic crashes tend to be high during increased movements of the school break off and festive season due to the inappropriate behavior of drivers that over speed to make many shifts.
“Measures have been undertaken to oversee safe movements of vehicles transporting students back home and the highway traffic has also made it their priority to ensure smooth traffic-flow while taking punitive measures against the offenders,” CP Rumanzi said.
Schools are scheduled to break off between November 1 and 3, but this will be done in shifts according to regions, as per the instructions by the Ministry of Education.
Schools in the City of Kigali, Huye, Nyanza, Muhanga and Kamonyi in the Southern Province, and those from Rusizi and Nyamasheke in the Western will break off on November 1.
Schools in other districts in the Southern and Western provinces will close on November 2 while those in the Eastern and Northern provinces will close on November 3.
“This is a national programme that equally requires due attention from all stakeholders including transporters, schools, parents and the police to ensure that all safety measures are respected and undertaken; we don’t want to enforce penalties but we will if the situation necessitates to prevent crashes and ensure the safety of the people,” he noted.
He observed that transporters tend to drive on high speed to scramble for passengers and maximize money by making as many shifts as possible which increases risks of fatal accidents.
He also warned against overloading and called for respect of the insurance which specifies the maximum number of people on board.
“We have also witnessed inappropriate behavior of some drivers who take-off as passengers try to enter or get off the car injuring them in the process, which should stop.”
CP Rumanzi also appealed to the management of transport companies to equally own the process and ensure the sobriety of their drivers.
Enforcing law on speed governors
Meanwhile, the traffic chief said that they have started enforcing the Presidential Order relating to installation of speed governors into public service and other commercial vehicles to control the speed of business vehicles.
“We have had a long and enough time with all those concerned including the regulatory agency – RURA – the Ministry of Infrastructure and transporters, discussing on the whole process of acquiring and fitting these gadgets, it’s unfortunate that there are some defiant transporters who have fervidly refused to comply, we have now reached the stage of enforcing the law,” he said.
“All the vehicles that will be involved in evacuating students should in the same way be having the speed governors, and we are going to ensure that that is the case.
The hi-tech device limits vehicles to the maximum speed of 60 kilometres per hour and has the capacity to trim down the speed to at least 25 kilometres per hour every time the vehicle attempts to exceed the set maximum velocity.
It also has a storage computer which allows controllers or traffic officer to check the previous speed of the vehicle, and errors if the device was tempered with.