Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and public transporters held a meeting on March 31 on the implementation of the Presidential Order on installation of speed governors, which concluded with transporters committing to fast-track the installation process.
The February 2015 Presidential Order governing speed governors, which had set a grace period of at least twelve months, requires all public transport vehicles and trucks to install the devices that limit the speed to the maximum of 60km/hour.
The whole idea and policy is aimed at eradicating fatal accidents that largely resulted from high speed especially by public transport vehicles.
The commitment was made during a press briefing that followed a meeting organized by RURA and brought together Rwanda National Police (RNP), public transport companies and associations as well as five companies allowed to supply and install the hi-tech devices.
The discussions revolved around the current implementation status of the Presidential order governing speed governors; after the expiration of the set deadline of February 2016.
“Though the decree was in place and the implementation agenda was completely convened, there were some operators who didn’t comply; it has affected the business of those who have already installed the devices as well as passengers’ safety,” said Mr. Emmanuel Katabarwa, the head of Transport services at RURA.
He pointed out that the survey conducted by RURA in Partnership of RNP revealed that there are some transporters who are yet to heed to Presidential Order while others installed speed Governors that were incomplete, as they missed the part that allows enforcement agents to check their functionality and others were tampered with rendering them not to limit the speed at 60KPH.
Figures from RNP indicate that only 37% of the public transports buses have installed the speed limit devices.
“No vehicle either transporting people or goods, will be allowed to operate without a well installed and functioning speed governor; responsible organs will assess, and any vehicle found without the device will not be permitted to operate till the owner complies with the Order,” Mr. Katabarwa said as he emphasized some of the main resolutions taken during discussions with public transport service providers.
The hi-tech 60km/hour maximum speed also has the capacity to trim down the speed to 25km/hour every time the vehicle attempts to exceed the set maximum velocity. It also has a storage computer which allows controllers or traffic officers to check the previous speed of the vehicle, and errors if the device was tempered with.
Mr. Olivier Nizeyimana, the President of Rwanda Association of Passenger Transporters (ATPR), while expressing commitment of transporters on the installation of the device, reminded them that safety of the passengers and other road users should be their “top responsibility of which installation of speed governor is a prerequisite to safety and a must.”
Nizeyimana also called upon the public to acknowledge the importance of speed governors for their full safety, and cautioned drivers against tampering with the devices under the pretence of the so called wishes of the unhappy on the new system speed.
“The unprofessional drivers are those, who refuse to comply and put passengers at high risk transporting them in a vehicle that has no peed governor. The commitment we have made today should be defined by actions,” Nizeyimana said.
“Service delivery necessitates us to take each and every step and implement each decision to make our roads safer,” said Anita Mukamusoni, who spoke on behalf of the Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperatives (RFTC).
She advised the public to adopt the culture of organizing and aligning their daily travel programmes according to the allowed speed, instead of complaining and pushing drivers to faults.