Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame announced on Friday that he had spoken to the police about revising the low speed limits that were causing an uproar in the country this week.
“The speed shouldn’t be that high that it leads to accidents, nor should it be so low that people never get where they want to go. I’ve spoken to officers from the National Police, ”President Kagame said during a ceremony held on the 19th when the public, journalists and traffic police told the public, journalists and traffic police about the low speed limits, even on highways, and the high speeding fines imposed by local residents.
Earlier this week, local residents argued that speed limits were too low and fines were inappropriate, while police responded that traffic laws should be obeyed.
Rwanda has installed traffic cameras on strategic stretches of road to help to monitor road users and increase road safety.
The traffic monitoring cameras will penalize any vehicle that violates speed limits of only 30-40 km / h. The maximum speed in Rwanda is 80 km / h. Violating a speed limit will result in a fine of Rwf 25,000 (approximately $ 24), which increases to Rwf 35,000 ($ 34) if not paid within two days.
< p> “People have complained of excessive traffic fines for speed limits and paying fines for exceeding 40 km an hour. That is the same speed as those of us who are used to walking, “added Kagame.
While police have stressed that the speed limit on road traffic is a legal requirement, some residents argue that the Kigali roads were expanded and improved after the speed limit signs were introduced in 2002.
A 2002 presidential ordinance regulating general traffic police and road traffic requires vehicles in Rwanda with Speed limits of 25-80 km per hour are allowed.
“A public vehicle or a goods vehicle may not exceed a speed of sixty kilometers per hour (60 km / h),” says the order.
With the current context, the traffic police have assured that the traffic laws are in the process of being amended and updated.
According to Gerard Mpayimana, Commissioner for traffic and road safety, the surveillance cameras have contributed significantly to reducing traffic accidents.
In the first 10 months of 2019, 739 people died in traffic accidents in front of the surveillance cameras. The number fell to 687 in 2020 and 548 in the same period in 2021. “Although there has been a pandemic, the number of road accidents and deaths has decreased since the speed limit cameras were introduced,” Mpayimana said.
Rwanda had 221,000 registered vehicles in 2020, of which 52 percent were motorcycles and 38 percent were cars. At least 30,000 of these vehicles are in Kigali. The number of vehicles is increasing rapidly, almost 12 percent per year, according to data from the tax authority of Rwanda.