Motorcyclists and cyclists constitute the majority road users involved in accidents and related fatalities. About 53 percent of road accidents recorded in this year’s first six months, involved motorcyclists and cyclists, according to a road security report from the Rwanda National Police (RNP) department of Traffic and Road Safety.
Motorcycles, for example, were involved in 2322 accidents during the same period, resulting into 98 fatalities and 46 serious injuries.
Now, the RNP has shifted its ongoing Gerayo Amahoro road safety campaign to addressing road carnage largely caused by the recklessness of motorcyclists and cyclists.
The campaign which kicked off on Tuesday, September 5, will be conducted across the country where Police officers will be meeting the two groups of road users at their stations and highways to educate them on safer road usage, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Boniface Rutikanga, the RNP spokesperson, said.
“The high number of road accidents involving motorcyclists and cyclists has called for a special awareness campaign to address their reckless behaviors, which lead to loss of lives and destruction of property.
Some behaviors like speeding, maneuvers, holding onto moving trucks on hilly roads, overloading, cyclists operating at night, driving when intoxicated, violating traffic lights and other traffic rules; these are some of the major causes of road carnage,” ACP Rutikanga said.
There are also fatal cases of cyclists who lose control when speeding downhill and cannot stop the bicycle when they encounter an obstacle.
The majority road accidents that occurred between January and June, were recorded in City of Kigali, followed in the same order by the Southern, Northern, Eastern and Western provinces.
Motorcyclists are reminded to always to use low beam headlights whenever they use the road; avoid driving under the influence of alcohol; avoid riding without wearing a helmet as well as their passenger; driving at the prescribed speed or regulating speed; refraining from swerving into other vehicles; wrong and dangerous overtaking; avoid overloading and using the phone while riding; and to respect pedestrian rights.
Equally, cyclists are advised to stop holding onto moving vehicles, avoid speeding downhill, stop operating beyond 6p.m and riding in middle of the road; to respect pedestrian walkways, not to transport heavy luggage sometimes impeding traffic flow; and to respect traffic control signposts.
“This is one of many other similar road safety awareness campaigns conducted in the past targeting motorcyclists and cyclists under Gerayo Amahoro, but this time, the campaign will be followed by operations on defiant motorcyclists and cyclists, who continue to violate regulations governing the road and putting lives of people at risk,” ACP Rutikanga said.