Police in operations against motorists violating pedestrian walkways

On 25 October 2022 at 06:18

It has become a practice that when new roads are constructed or upgraded, motorists tend use the road anyhow by disregarding road safety standards, putting people’s lives at high risk.

Violating Zebra Crossing, one-way traffic, green zones and making U-turn at prohibited junctions; all become a common phenomenon. In some circumstances, these serious violations have resulted into preventable accidents.

In an effort to prevent these reckless human behaviors and to ensure safety of all road users, the Rwanda National Police (RNP) department of Traffic and Road Safety has now started operations not only to educate but also to penalize violators.

In operations conducted on Monday morning, October 24, along the newly upgraded Sonatube-Kicukiro centre highway; at least 150 road users were caught in various violations.

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera warned against such high risk behaviors and urged all road users to abide by the traffic rules and regulations.

"In a space of just three hours, about 150 road users were caught in various violations. They include drivers and motorcyclists, who were speeding through pedestrian walkways, taxi-moto operators and cyclists who were riding on the wrong side of the road violating one-way traffic, and those crossing the road through green zones; motorists who were making U-turn at prohibited junctions; and pedestrians who were crossing the road through protected green zones, which is also prohibited," CP Kabera said.

Most pedestrians claimed ignorance about regulations on green spaces of the road.

"I did not know that crossing through green areas of the road is punishable. I have been doing this unknowingly, but today, I was caught by the Police in the morning as I was rushing to work. This is a lesson to me, and I guess a lesson to many others," said Theogene Iyangabiye.

Equally, Cyusa Louange argued that she used to cross the road from anywhere including through green spaces. "I was only thinking about not being hit by a vehicle or motorcycle but not the green spaces."

CP Kabera said that this is a combination of operations and awareness to educate road users on road safety standards to influence behavioral change to save lives lost in accidents and to protect the environment.

"Motorists do not respect Zebra Crossing and make U-turn at prohibited junctions; cyclists have also made it a habit to violate the one-way traffic and pedestrians destroy the protected green spaces.

Sadly, there are also taxi-moto operators and cyclists, who ride through these restricted green spaces," CP Kabera said.

He added: "People should not be penalized for putting their lives and those of others at risk of accidents. Respecting traffic rules and regulations should be an individual responsibility. These specific operations that have started today will continue."

Although the first day of target operations was mainly on education, CP Kabera cautioned that the next step will be to penalize errant road users.

Police has launched operations against motorists violating pedestrian walkways.