Rwanda National Police(RNP) says road accidents killed 90 and injured 510 people in the period between March and September 2, 2020.
These fatalities happened while the country has limited movements by introducing curfew hours as one of the measures intended to stop the spread of Covid-19.
However, RNP spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera said the accidents are not related to the measures.
“The accidents have increased, but it should be clear. Respecting curfew and Covid-19 prevention directives does not cause road accidents and preventing accidents does not spread the Covid-19 pandemic,” CP Kabera said during KT radio’s Ubyumva ute program.
“You can respect traffic rules, Covid-19 directives and curfews, and prevent road accidents at the same time. The accidents were caused by over speeding and violation of traffic rules, respecting Covid-19 directives is not related to these increasing accidents,”
“Other accidents were caused by drink and drive cases. People should respect curfew hours. We shall combine the Covid-19 prevention campaign and Gerayo amahoro campaign to make sure that we fight increasing road accidents,”CP. Kabera said.
On 22, May 2019, the government launched Gerayo amahoro, a fifty two-long road safety campaign to sensitize all categories of road users on traffic rules and regulations to promote road safety in the country.
Since the launch of ‘Gerayo Amahoro’ accidents had reduced by 24% by December 2019, according to police.
“Gerayo Amahoro” (loosely translated to ‘arrive safely’) was meant to develop and implement sustainable road safety strategies and programs, and increase road safety awareness towards mindset change to prevent road carnage.
“On 30th, July 2020, we published an announcement to bring cars for checking, few people turned up, actually 1934 only. Today we have also announced again, it possible to prevent these accidents by adhering to traffic rules,”CP Kabera said.
He added that “There are more than 1934 cars, for those who did not bring their cars for checking, we shall conduct a crackdown soon and their cars will be held.”
Every year, hundreds die of accidents in Rwanda, and thousands are admitted in the hospitals and many of them sustain permanent injuries due to road accidents. Last year, the number of road accidents decreased to 4,661 cases from 5,661 that were recorded in 2018, according to figures from traffic police.
Worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) Globally, road traffic accidents kill 1.35 million people annually. As par 2018 WHO world classifications, Rwanda is still among countries in the red zone with an estimated 30 deaths per 100,000 people.