Rwanda: Trouble with the Zebras
Zebras crossing. Photo margsifrenia13.
Zebra crossing spots will reduce accidents
I am grateful to what is being done by City Authorities concerning the upgrading of the Kigali road network. It has certainly brought us joy, to be utilizing a brand new network of the road in Kigali.
However, much as motorists do their part in maintaining the discipline and respecting zebra crossings in Kigali, many of the spots where these are located crossings need to be repainted.
For example, the zebra crossing in Kimihurura just after the umurenge offices as you are heading to city centre, is vital since it facilitates students who cross to nearby schools. Today, it is very hard to notice the zebra crossings here.
I witnessed a near tragic situation at the spot just after UTC as you reach the round about in town where a motorist almost knocked a pedestrian who was legitimately going through the zebra crossing spot.
The zebra crossing in this spot has totally faded. My urgent appeal to city authorities is not only to paint pedestrain hotspots in the newly tarmaced areas of Kigali, but to repaint those that have been worn out like the one below UTC, to curb unforeseen tragedy to pedestrians.
The New Times – Rwanda’s First Daily
Drivers should respect zebra crossings
It has come to my notice that motorists do not respect zebra crossings in Kigali City. As far as I know, many drivers deliberately break the traffic law knowing police have not a bite and pedestrians do not know their right at zebra crossings.
I have also discovered that it is only the Kwa Rubangura zebra crossing which is respected by our drivers, just because police are always deployed in this area.
Failure to respect pedestrians creates a lot of fear and insecurity in us. This is slowing doing business in Kigali as some of us fear to go to Kigali city centre.
Please, I request the police to come to our rescue! These are some of my proposals:-
1. I usually see posters labeled “Alcohol and cars don’t mix….,” therefore sign posts informing drivers that “zebra crossing ahead” should be erected a few metres from the crossings to alert drivers.
2. Traffic police should keep informing drivers about the importance of zebra crossings and the money they may spend in fines.
Yesterday, I received an SMS (a text message) from the Rwandan National Police that read, “RNP reminds you that talking & texting on phone while driving is a traffic offence. Disregarding zebra crossing also attracts punishment.” One hour later, I received the same message translated into Kinyarwanda. Oh, what a country I live in!
A few thoughts on this text message…
I live in a country that is so small that the national police force can send a mass text message to every single person in the country to pass on information, however impertinent.
The Rwandan National Police disseminated this message to an entire country of 10 million people where approximately 2 in every 100 people have cars. Some people in remote little villages, who may never have seen a car, have cell phones and likely received this message. I can only imagine their confusion.
You might think it humorous that “disregarding zebra crossing also attracts punishment.” While, yes, I do live in the middle of Africa, no, that does NOT mean you need to watch out for crossing zebras (pronounced here as if it rhymed with Debra’s). For my American readership out there, zebra crossings are pedestrian crosswalks.
Posted by Kelly at 2:07 AM
You should always keep an eye on the zebras!