The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana has reminded public transport companies to always inspect their vehicles as a way of mitigating road accidents.
The Police Chief made the call on August 24 during a meeting that brought together owners and representatives of public transport companies held at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru.
The meeting was also attended by the vice mayor of the City of Kigali in charge of Economic Development, Perfait Busabizwa, the head of transport in RURA, Asaba Katabarwa and senior RNP officers.
“Rwanda is developing very fast, meaning there is a high demand for public transport services. Many foreigners visit Rwanda on businesses trips, international events and tourism; as companies charged offering transportation services to these people, you should ensure you do it in a professional and safer manner,” IGP Gasana said.
He challenged them to set company mission, vision and values as means of coping with Rwanda’s rapid development.
“Strategic planning and effective administration will boost business and mitigate road accidents.”
The Police Chief went on to urge them to lay strategies to ensure road safety and management of their vehicles and drivers.
The Vice Mayor Busabizwa said: “Rwanda’s main resource is its people that’s why we should collectively ensure we protect Rwandans from any harm however minor is perceived.”
He observed that some drivers abuse drugs, which can as well be the source of fatal accidents.
During the meeting, Commissioner of Police (CP) George Rumanzi, Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety Department, gave a presentation on the road status and accidents involving public transporters in the past 14 months.
According to the report running between July 2015 and August 2016, at least 245 accidents involved public transport vehicles; killing 91 people while 408 others sustained injuries.
“These accidents were caused by reckless driving, wrong maneuvers, violation of right of way, speeding, use of cellphones while driving and wrong overtaking among others,” said CP Rumanzi.
The chairperson of Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperatives (RFTC) Colonel (rtd) Ludovic Twahirwa recommended that a special school be established particularly for bus drivers.
“We should as well not hire any driver without a recommendation from their former employees since it has been observed that a driver is sometimes terminated from one company over reckless and the next day he is hired by another company which doesn’t solve the problem that we want to address,” said Twahirwa.
The issue of installation of speed governors was also discussed and emphasized and parties recommitted to fast-track the process as one way of preventing accidents caused by over speeding.
Also discussed were measures to deal with unprofessional conduct and indiscipline of drivers and improving the standard and quality of driving schools.
RURA also promised to start issuing vocational cards within a month, to responsible and disciplined public transport drivers recommended for safety driving.