Motorists urged to respect the Zebra Crossing

On 31 October 2023 at 06:55

The white and black stripes on the road commonly known as Zebra Crossing are among the road signs, particularly used by pedestrians to safely cross the road. These crosswalks signal motorists to reduce speed or to stop, to give way to pedestrians on the crossing.

Nonetheless, motorists have continued to violate the Zebra Crossing and results have been fatal. The Traffic and Road Safety department has registered 171 fatal accidents involving pedestrians between January and August this years, and 47 serious injuries. Some of these fatalities were registered at the Zebra Crossing due to motorists’ reckless behaviours.

In an effort to address this form of road carnage, Rwanda National Police (RNP) started a week-long countrywide awareness on Monday, October 30, to educate road users to respect Zebra Crossing, as part of the ongoing Gerayo Amahoro road safety campaign.

“The awareness targets all categories of road users; motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to respect the zebra crossing and to use them safely. Failure to respect the zebra crossing puts someone in danger,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Boniface Rutikanga, the RNP spokesperson.

Across different roads in Kigali and other parts of the country, Police officers engaged motorists and pedestrians, including students on the meaning of zebra crossing and how safely to cross the road.

ACP Rutikanga said: “We have registered cases where drivers and taxi-moto operators speed through the zebra crossing and in some cases knocking pedestrians. There are also cases where pedestrians cross the road recklessly without carefully looking on either side of the road or crossing when they are distracted by the phone.”

“The zebra crossing provides a safe passage for pedestrians. The lines warn drivers that there may be pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road, which requires motorists to slow down or stop to give way to pedestrians on the crossing. It does not matter if there is someone crossing or not; motorists must reduce speed whenever they are approaching a zebra crossing. It is also a traffic offence to stop in the zebra crossing, which is common in traffic jam and traffic lights.”