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Festive season: Police vow to crackdown on drunk driving

A report compiled by the Senate in 2022 showed that at least two Rwandans die due to road carnage every day and such deaths are also on the increase year-on-year.

According to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security, despite strategies that the Government put in place to curb accidents, they increased from 4,160 in 2020 to 8,639 in 2021, and 8,660 in 2022.

These accidents inflicted heavy losses on people, including 629 deaths in 2020, 655 deaths in 2021, and 687 deaths in 2022, the committee said.

On the anti-accidents strategies that the Government developed, the police spokesperson CP John Bosco Kabera  said that they include traffic cameras that capture images of automobiles that exceed set or recommended speeds and impose due fines on the drivers.

Some of the reasons that were cited by  CP Kabera  for causing road accidents include the nature of roads such as old ones that are in poor state, the use of automobiles that have not gone through mechanical inspection to establish whether they are fit for passenger or goods transport, and car garages that are often not inspected for standard compliance.

“Also, there are factors of bad driver behaviour, including driving under the influence of alcohol, and those who drive yet they did not study traffic rules.” Said CP Kabera

Apart from the loss of lives, accidents had a toll on the country's workforce as some victims suffer severe injuries and disabilities; and the country's economy, with insurers claiming that they were paying more money in compensations to damages inflicted on the victims - for the cases of motorcycle insurance.

For instance, on Monday, November 28, Marc Rugenera, the Managing Director of Radiant Insurance Company told members of the Senate's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security that the firm paid over Rwf2.9 billion in compensations to victims of motorcycle accidents in 2020, while it had collected over Rwf1 billion in motorcycle insurance premium.

This data suggests that the compensation expenditure was 247 per cent, or more than double, compared to the premiums.

As part of the measures for preventing accidents during the festive season, the RNP said it had deployed more police officers and mobile cameras on roads across Kigali and other parts of the country to arrest drivers for drunk driving and over-speeding.

"Traffic police are ready to help Rwandans end the year of 2022 with minimum road accidents. We will deploy more police officers, mobile cameras, patrols, and cars on the roads and arrest those with over-speeding as well as alcohol tests to detect drunk driving. We will also test those who consume drugs," said the Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety Gerard Mpayimana.







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