Rwanda National Police (RNP) has launched an all-out Gerayo Amahoro road safety awareness campaign in schools across the country as part of the national efforts to influence behavioral change to prevent carnage and make school going children safe on the road.
On the first day on Monday, May 22, the campaign was conducted in 122 primary and secondary schools in different parts of the country.
In City of Kigali, the campaign was conducted in 20 schools, 36 in the Eastern Province, 30 in Northern Province, and 29 schools in Southern and Western provinces.
The RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, said that targeting schools is deliberate to instill a culture of safer road usage among the most vulnerable group.
Road crashes are the leading cause of death among people aged between 5 and 29 years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO suggests that more than 1.35 million people die in road crashes globally, every year. Over 650 fatalities and 4000 injuries were recorded in Rwanda, last year.
CP Kabera said: "Young people and school going children in particular, constitute one of the most at risk age group. We have had fatal incidents involving students, either due to the recklessness of motorists or children playing in the middle of road and other careless practices.
This campaign will be extended to all primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to make road safety a choice and ultimately a culture."
The campaign will also include establishing road safety clubs in schools.
ROAD SAFETY TIPS FOR STUDENTS
Never run or play on the road.
Children should only go on road under the care of a responsible person holding his or her hand.
Practice Safety in Moving Vehicles: Never stand or walk through a moving vehicle; never put hands or head outside through the window; always wear a seatbelt.
Always use sidewalks
Use zebra crossing where they exist
When crossing the road, check that vehicles have stopped to give way to cross. Never cross while running instead walk faster.
Before crossing, stop at the edge of the road, look right, left, right again and listen for any vehicles approaching you.
When you cross at traffic lights, check when the figure of a person turns green then cross as fast as the figure of a person in the light shows.
At pedestrian controlled traffic light, press the button, wait for the green light to turn on and for the vehicles to stop; then cross.
Walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
RESPECTING FAST LANE
Meanwhile, the campaign in schools kicked off alongside awareness on use of passing lane also known as fast lane.
It is meant to educate motorists to respect the fast lane especially at duo or multilane roadway, used by fast-moving vehicles when passing slower traffic, to ensure smooth traffic flow.