Kigali has renewed its bid to crack down on public service vehicles not complying with the legal speed limit or installation of speed governors, as implementation continues to face difficulties a year past the set deadline.
All public service vehicles or those transporting goods public had been given up to February 2016 to install speed governors set to a maximum speed of 60km/h but a recent assessment by the regulator found that not even half of the vehicles had complied with the law.
Statistics show that 63 per cent of the fleet are yet to install speed governors.
“Our assessment also showed that even among vehicles that installed these devices, some were tampered with and don’t operate properly. Others do not meet the required standards,” said Emmanuel Katabarwa, head of transport department at Rwanda Regulatory Agency (RURA).
Mr Katabarwa was speaking after a closed door meeting between RURA, the police and representatives of transport associations.
The meeting resolved, among other things, to embark on a nationwide operation to stop all non-compliant vehicles with immediate effect.
Over the past two weeks the joint operation led to the suspension of several vehicles, which were found to not have any speed governors or had ones that had been tampered with.
RURA officials said many more non-compliant vehicles risk suspension and other penalties.
Mandatory installation of speed governors in public transport vehicles was introduced to reduce accidents amid an increase in the number of vehicles on the country’s roads.
Initially, a short-lived promotion for installation of the gadgets saw a few provincial and city public service vehicles get fitted with the gadgets.
According to the drivers, the vehicles that had the speed governors installed found themselves competing with vehicles that did not have the gadgets and so they opted to remove them or tamper with them.
Operators also told Rwanda Today that the high cost of speed governors remains a major barrier even after the number of licensed suppliers rose to five.
Prices range between Rwf180,000 and Rwf260,000 depending on the technology and the supplier.
However, RURA officials dismissed the operators’ concerns as unfounded with Mr Katabarwa arguing that even if the prices are high, vehicle owners have had enough time to raise the money.