Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA) in partnership with transporters has launched a Drivers Vocational Cards Management System (DVCMS), to monitor behaviours and enforce discipline of drivers on roads.
The electronic system, which seeks to prevent road traffic accidents and promote road safety, was launched on June 1, in Nyabugogo Bus Terminal by the Minister of Youth and ICT Jean Philbert Nsengimana.
The event was also attended Minister of state in charge of transport in the Ministry of Infrastructure (MINIFRA) Dr. Alexis Nzahabwanimana, RURA Director General Maj. Patrick Nyirishema and senior Rwanda National Police officers, among others.
Under the new system, every driver will be given a smart card – Drivers Vocational Cards (DVC) – which will help the regulator to monitor them and evaluate their conduct electronically, and enforce the Code of Conduct governing Public Transport drivers in Rwanda.
All drivers with merit points above 70 percent are classified in green color, signifying high level of discipline.
Those below 70 percent but above 40 percent are placed in yellow color and calls for the involvement of RURA to engage them in discussions and training to correct their misconduct.
However, any driver who keeps on committing professional errors and fall below 40%, the system automatically suspends him or her driver’s license for a specific period. This, according to RURA, is intended to give the person much time to rectify their unprofessional behaviors, which are assessed and evaluated by the regulator to determine whether or not the person has reformed and fit to drive again.
In situations where the driver continues manifesting similar professional mistakes that are largely related to violations of traffic rules and regulations, their driver’s license is suspended indefinitely.
Minister Nsengimana reiterated the importance of the vocational card in improving public transport service delivery and preventing fatal accidents.
“As your card changes the color, your professional value as a driver also gradually goes down, and this translates into high risks passengers and road users are facing in hands of such a driver. In such a situation, the risk of loss of lives is eminent,” Minister Nsengimana told drivers.
The Director General of RURA, Maj. Patrick Nyirishema emphasized that indiscipline and unprofessional driving puts people’s lives on the edge, and that extreme measures will be taken to prevent such disasters.
The chairman of Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperatives (RFTC) Twahirwa Dodo recognized the importance of the system in the control of drivers' discipline and improving their working conditions, stating that this approach also pin employers to give their employees contracts.
"Now you are like players. Good players are offered much money, and drivers with good and clean records will be recruited and offered the job with good financial offers,” Twahirwa said.
The chairman of Rwanda Association of Passenger Transporters (ATPR) Olivier Nizeyimana revealed that the smart card will facilitate Transporters to employ disciplined and competent drivers that can effectively respect road safety standards.