MTN Rwanda has joined Rwanda National Police (RNP) to educate road users on safe road use, focusing eliminating such vices as texting and calling for both drivers and the pedestrians.
The partnership comes to reinforce the year-long campaign named ‘Gerayo Amahoro’, which was launched in May this year, to reach out to all categories of road users, educating them on how to prevent reckless human behaviors that are largely blamed for the 500 traffic accidents and 2000 fatalities that have been registered in the said period.
The month of November is mainly dedicated to raising awareness against distractive driving such as using a phone while driving.
It is specifically intended to prevent texting, making or answering phone calls while driving, riding or when crossing the road.
Under the partnership, Short Message Service (SMS) on road safety will be sent to over five million MTN subscribers and their service centres will also take charge of educating their customers on safe road usage.
During the month-long campaign against distractive driving, the two entities will also engage in radio and television talk-shows and use of social platforms, road-shows and physical sensitisation at bus parks across the country to reach out to different road users.
During the launch of the partnership, MTN Rwanda Chief Executive Officer, Mitwa Kaemba Ng’ambi said that road safety should be a heritage just like we adopt to every day human behaviors.
“We are happy and ready to partner with the Police in creating a positive culture on road usage that will be inherited by generations,” Ng’ambi said.
A 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) report indicated that road accidents were the leading cause of death among children aged between 4 and 15 years.
Although low developed countries account for only one per cent of all vehicles in the world, it accounts for at least 13 per cent of the 1.35 million accidents that occur each year, globally.
“It’s so unfortunate that our children are the majority victims of our reckless actions on the roads. Those who die in accidents are our friends, relatives and customers. Our partnership is therefore intended for everyone to be safe, good and healthy,” Ng’ambi said.
Commissioner of Police John Bosco Kabera, the Commissioner of Public Relations and Media, and RNP spokesperson, said that the conceptual framework of this campaign will heavily depend on the compliance of the people which means road safety has to be a choice and a culture and not just a law reinforcement.
“Some accidents are caused by road users, who perceive priority on road as their safety; having right to way doesn’t guarantee your safety, every decision you make on road as a motorist or pedestrian should be the right one for your safety and that of other road users.”
“About 700 fatalities were registered across the country this year, 2000 other people survived with serious injuries, while 3000 property damaged and about Rwf20 billion was spent in compensation.
Motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians account for about 54 per cent of road traffic victims.
CP Rafiki Mujiji, Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety department announced that ‘Gerayo Amahoro’ campaign is meant to run for 52 weeks, but may continue even after that period.
“And this shows how much we are committed to instilling a road safety culture. it’s a gradual process from enforcement, choice to making it a culture of vigilance,” Kabera said.
In June, Gerayo Amahoro was dedicated to fighting impaired driving, protection of infrastructure in July while the campaign concentrated in schools in August, September and October.