Police warn taxi riders over rise in accidents

Friday March 29 2013

By Edmund Kagire Rwanda Today

Police have decried the increased cases of road accident caused by motorcycles in Kigali and its surroundings.

Police say motorcycles remain the biggest threat to lives on roads in Kigali and its outskirts due to recklessness.

According to police, 70 per cent of road accidents are caused by motorcyclists.

Police say most riders of the motorcycle taxis, commonly referred to as motos, do not respect traffic rules despite the risk of incurring heavy penalties.

Police say as the numbers of motorcyclists continue to grow on Rwandan roads, some operate without licences and defy other traffic rules.

According to Inspector General of Police Emmanuel Gasana, road accidents currently top the list of concerns facing police as motorcyclists have been listed as the leading cause of road accidents.

Mr Gasana said cases of road accidents have been on the rise since the beginning of the year and accidents caused by motorcyclists top the list of cases reported to police closely followed by drug abuse, human trafficking, robbery, counterfeiting and cybercrimes.

“Road accidents are a serious threat and this can be blamed on the carelessness of road users, especially motorcyclists. Recently, motorcyclists have developed a habit of carrying more than two passengers while other accidents are caused by carelessness and failure to respect traffic rules among others.

Police records

According to police records, there were 600 road accidents in January and February and 273 of them involved motos. 462 people were injured, 105 of them some moto riders.

Another 72 people died in accidents between January and February with about 20 of them being moto passengers while 17 motor riders also lost their lives in the process.

Police now say the have devised means to tame recklessness among motorcyclists around the city, with one of the key measures being confiscating and arresting those who are involved in accidents.

In a recent city meeting with motorcyclists through their associations, Mr Gasana said the continued contempt for traffic rules displayed by bodabodas is forcing police to take stern measures to curb the increasing numbers of accidents.

He cautioned motorcyclists against reckless behaviour on the road that makes it dangerous for other road users, at the same time putting passengers and pedestrians in danger.

Police also warned that it is not only the motos to blame for increasing road carnage but also other careless motorists, who do not have regards to other road users, especially motorcyclists.