Pedestrians have blamed motorists for being the major cause of most road accidents, due to their reckless driving.
They claim that drivers often ignore the speed-limits and drive through zebra crossings with impunity.
This was mentioned by different pedestrians on Monday, when Rwanda National Police started the third week of ‘Gerayo Amahoro (arrive safely) campaign with focus on educating pedestrians on road safety rules and particularly their rights to prevent road carnage.
Most pedestrians, who spoke decried reckless motorists, saying they contribute to the biggest number of accidents that claim lives of pedestrians.
Faustin Nsabimana, of Nyamirambo believes that this campaign that will reach out to all groups of road users will create impact on behavior change. “In most cases especially here in Nyamirambo, drivers don’t respect pedestrian crossing lines.”
One Karrim Sebutinde, a barber in Nyamirambo, whose business is near a zebra crossing also says motorists especially motorcyclists ride on pedestrian pavements putting their lives in danger.
“Recently, a motorcyclists knocked a women after she narrowly survived being hit by a bus, due to such inappropriate use of road. The woman and motorcyclists were both taken to hospital with injuries,” Sebutinde recalls.
To Judith Mukarugomwa of Nyarugenge Sector, although most pedestrians now understand road safety rules, passenger service drivers and taxi-moto operators should change their behaviours for everyone to be safe on the road.
Different pedestrians cited violation of traffic control lights and not giving the right to away to pedestrians at a crosswalk.
Conversely motorists also fault pedestrians for being careless road users mainly while crossing highways and prohibited areas and claim that some pedestrians are distracted or act erratically when using the road.
Drivers accused pedestrians for ‘cat walking’ into the zebra crossings ignoring red-light.
Jean Pierre Mazimpaka, a special hire driver says some pedestrians are destructed by phones, listening to music and group conversations when crossing.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Jean Marie Vianney Ndushabandi, the spokesperson for Traffic and Road Safety department, said the discussion should not be directed at finger pointing and finding blames but on general safety of all road users adding that “people have the responsibility to look out for their own safety.”
“We don’t want to take the argument to determine who is at fault in an accident in motorists’ verses pedestrians, we all want to be safe and responsible on roads” said SSP Ndushabandi.
“Don’t rely solely on traffic signals or stop signs. Ensure that it is safe to cross or use the road,” he urged pedestrians.
He also said that because a driver is licensed to guide the car through the streets, he must accept a greater burden of responsibility.
“When you are walking, you should be facing motorists from the opposite direction. Equally, a motorists should know that when the traffic control light hits red, there are either pedestrians crossing or motorists from another direction. It is the same with Zebra Crossing, a motorist should bear in mind that there is someone crossing, so you have to trim your speed at all times,” SSP Ndushabandi said.
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