1,900 killed in road accidents since 2020

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1,900 killed in road accidents since 2020
1,900 killed in road accidents since 2020

Africa-Press – Rwanda. Senators have expressed concern at the rising number of people killed in road accidents, despite all the measures taken to prevent them.

A total of 1,971 people have been killed since 2020, according to figures from the Rwanda National Police (RNP) presented to the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security.

The City of Kigali has the biggest number of fatalities (493), followed by the Eastern Province (492) and the Southern Province (407). Fatalities recorded in the Western and Northern provinces are 329 and 250, respectively.

“Although Kigali has the highest frequency of road accidents, most of them are not fatal,” George Rumanzi, the Commissioner of Police in charge of operations and public order told the senators.

Contrary to that, he added, in the provinces, where the frequency is low, the accidents tend to be more fatal.

George Rumanzi (L), the Commissioner of Police in charge of operations and public, speaks to the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security, on Tuesday, November 29. | Right: Senator Hadidja Murangwa, president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security.

According to the RNP, 84 per cent of all the victims were “vulnerable road users,” that is, people who had no role in the accidents. 34 per cent of the victims were pedestrians, 24 per cent were motorcyclists while 24 were cyclists.

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“Despite all measures put in place to prevent traffic accidents and related deaths – speed governors, speed cameras, tight laws and vehicle mechanical inspection – the number of the accidents continues to rise,” said Senator Hadidja Murangwa, president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security.

A total of 21,459 road accidents were recorded over the last three years. About 4,000 were recorded in 2020. 8,000 were recorded in 2021, while 8500 have been recorded since January 2022.

“Why are these numbers and the death toll not declining,” asked a concerned Murangwa.

Senator Emmanuel Havugimana said the death toll related to road accidents was “very concerning” in proportion to the number of cars that are in Rwanda.

“In Rwanda, there are 200,000 cars and the number of deaths related to the road accidents is 1,971, which means that on average there is one death to 100 cars,” Havugimana said.

“This is a very concerning problem, which should be dealt with.”

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Havugimana mentioned some of the possible causes of road accidents, including narrow roads, old cars and the lack of designated lanes for different vehicles.

“A bicycle should not share the same lane with big trucks and buses,” he said.

CP Rumanzi said that some of the challenges included outdated laws, gaps in public transport and road network, insufficient budget for rescue operations and poor maintenance services.

“RNP is gradually improving its services to respond to the challenges and fulfil its mandate,” he said.

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