“Be Alert, Stay Alert!”, this is just one of many slogans promoting road safety. Road traffic safety refers to methods and measures used to prevent road users from being killed or seriously injured. But despite the promotions and awareness all over the world to emphasize road safety, it is not by all means safe. 10 years ago, The WHO has observed that Rwanda had a number of problems in terms of the amount of car accidents happening. Every year, the government has progressed to launching more road safety campaigns, exposing road users with rules and regulations to increase road safety awareness to prevent any possible accidents. Here are some important road safety tips to keep you safe while driving.
Use the vehicle’s safety features
Every vehicle has been verified to make sure the performance of the vehicle is at its optimum performance, while making it reliable for vehicle safety. With that in mind, maximize the use of safety features included in your vehicle. This includes helmets for motorcycle drivers and cyclists and seatbelts for 4-wheeled vehicles. Also, make sure that the vehicles are well-maintained. This is to prevent you from being heavily injured in case of any road accidents that you may encounter along the road. Remember that safety is the biggest priority, so check yourself and your passengers (if you have) if they are equipped with safety gear before starting to drive.
Know the traffic signs, laws and prohibitions
Rwanda has set of rules to follow in order for all drivers to be safe and to avoid anyroad mishaps. As a road user, know what is prohibited once you start to drive on the roads of Rwanda. One of the prohibitions include the use of mobile phones while driving, exceeding the speed limit and drinking under the influence of alcoholic drinks while driving. Another thing to keep in mind is to follow road signs, especially to routes that are one way and are prohibited to pass. Finally, exercise caution in different roads and traffic lights and pay attention to road hazards to prevent yourself from accidental collisions.
Exercise the right-of-way to other road users
One of the agenda of road safety week in Rwanda include road discipline and right-of-way to other drivers. AllAfrica reported that the state minister emphasized the point of “driving safely and responsibly”. One important point to take note from this is to be responsible and yield to other road users to those who are of higher priority. When it comes to pedestrians, always give the right-of-way to them and slow down when approaching the pedestrian lane. Also, give the right-of-way to motorists and cyclists by giving them enough space for them to maneuver around the road. By exercising this simple rule, road mishaps can be minimized.
The takeaway for road safety is to follow simple rules and regulations as well as take part in road safety awareness. But that does not disregard the active participation of the government, specifically traffic enforcers. Traffic officials must coordinate with drivers to avoid confusion along the road. With the government actively campaigning road and vehicle safety, there will be a significant change in the roads of Rwanda, as well as develop an organized and well-disciplined set of drivers overtime.