Rwanda plans to install closed- circuit television (CCTV) cameras along major roads as part of efforts to check traffic accidents and ensure road safety.
Rwanda’s State minister for Transport, Alexis Nzahabwanimana announced this Tuesday while appearing before lawmakers on the Senatorial Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security.
The minister was in the Senate to be briefed by the lawmakers on the findings of their three months survey on how to end road carnage and the situation of road safety in the country.
Nzahabwanimana said 60 percent of road accidents in the country are caused by careless driving such as talking on phone while driving as well as over speeding.
Joint reports by Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Rwanda National Police show that lives of 492 people were lost in road accidents in 2014 compared to 526 people who were killed in the accidents in 2013.
Minister Nzahabwanimana said his government is devising several measures to boost road safety, including introducing cameras to be placed at certain points at major roads to capture vehicles that over speed.
From next year, he said, the Government is also asking public passenger vehicles and cargo trucks to install speed governors to prevent them from over speeding.
“The government is very sensitive about the issue of road safety. It’s a matter of time for bad drivers to be held accountable and stop the practice. We don’t wish anyone to lose life in road accidents,” Nzahabwanimana said, adding that the cameras on the roads will be introduced as soon as possible.
The Senators urged the government to impose heavier fines for careless driving and to step up road safety awareness campaigns across the country.
According to the senators, there is need for more road safety public awareness campaigns as well as teaching of road safety lessons to students in schools.
They also called for enacting of laws that govern driving schools and garages in the country.
The minister also acknowledged that laws governing garages and driving schools in Rwanda need to be enacted as a matter of urgency.
The senators conducted the survey in different parts of the country seeking public views on what should be done to reduce road accidents.
“We need to look more closely at our laws and we need to increase awareness campaigns about road safety,” said Senator Jacqueline Muhongayire.
Senator Jean Damasc?ne Bizimana, chairperson of the Senatorial Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security called for heavier fines for careless drivers.
“We should increase the amount of money paid in fines against bad driving because people will feel it when heavier fines are imposed on them,” Bizimana said.
Bizimana explained that laws governing garages and driving schools in Rwanda would ensure that quality mechanics and quality information about road safety are provided for.
Currently traffic fines in Rwanda range between 14 U.S. dollars to 217 dollars for various offenses. Enditem