Public transporters community to the countryside should pay much attention to roadside safety signposts and respect traffic rules and regulations, which will contribute greatly to reduction and prevention of fatal accidents.
Commissioner of Police (CP) George Rumanzi, the Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety made the remarks of November 8 as he officiated at the opening of the four-day training for drivers of various transport companies, held in Kigali.
About 120 drivers are attending the training that seeks to improve their understanding on road safety standards.
“Exercise patience – many accidents are caused by impatient drivers who are rushing to get to their destinations quickly or scrambling for passengers; while time is a valid consideration, safety is more important,” CP Rumanzi said.
The Traffic Police chief urged drivers to take into considerations “even the smallest details” of traffic regulations for their safety and for the safety of passengers and all road users.
“Avoid distractions; even what you perceive to be small things like using handsets to text messages or make phone calls, changing CDs, eating, interacting with passengers… these are reckless practices that in some cases have ended up being disastrous,” he said.
“These are public roads that you equally share with others and human beings you transport, whose lives are valuable and should be respected.”
He reminded them to carry out regular “proper vehicle maintenance” to prevent accidents that are likely to result from mechanical faults.
“Stay alert, avoid assumptions, use turn signals and buckle up.”
He also disclosed that Rwanda National Police (RNP) is developing an IT-tool that will be used to modernize traffic systems and identify violations of traffic rules and regulations like the validity of insurance, mechanical inspection certificate, among others.
According to Emmanuel Asaba, the head of transport department in Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA), noted that “each driver must have a work contract” with their respective travel agencies as prerequisite for the company to be awarded an operation license.
“We want to create a professional association of public transport drivers that work under contract with their respective companies and possess a digitalized driver’s license to allow us keep records of their offences,” Asaba said.
RURA’s new form of driver’s license will have three categories to measure the conduit of a driver. They include; green, which symbolizes a clean record; yellow which means the driver can be warned on the offence committed; and red, which symbolizes the climax of traffic related offenses where the offender will be handed a six-month suspension.
The card shall be valid for a period of two years, according to Asaba.
The red card, however, doesn’t affect the culprit from driving a personal private vehicle, if any.
Similar training that will be conducted in phases is expected to benefit all drivers of public vehicles across the country.