In Bujumbura City Council, figures of road accidents recorded during 2014 have fallen compared to previous years, particularly those in December.-By Yves Didier Irakoze
According to Alfred Innocent Museremu, OPP1 Commander of Traffic Police and Road Security, the number of road accidents for the year 2014were 2603 whereas for 2012, they recorded 3373.
“For the month of December, the traffic police and the road security record 199 confirmed accidents in 2014, whilst in 2013 the figure was 2020. This shows that the figures have decreasedsignificantly this year compared toprevious years”, says OPP1 Museremu.
He goes on saying that during the final two weeks of December, a total of 141cases of road accidents were recorded, these includedjust 1 fatality in Bujumbura City.
The OPP1 Museremu stated that the causes of those accidents includeddriver misbehavior and disrespect of the road code. Also, some accidents were caused by bicycle taxi and motorbiketaxi drivers.
“Some drivers drive at a high speeds, others are distracted, for example taking mobile phone calls and texting while driving, others drink alcohol and drive, and frequently people do not use seat belts which often adds to the gravity of the situation when an accident happens.”, he adds.
He believes that other reasons for accidents particularly happening during the end of year festivity period are that car owners who infrequently use their vehicles during other times of the year, at that time do make use of their vehicles. “This also causes accidents because those cars may not have obtained the necessary technical checks, nor the legally required road worthiness checks for vehicle”, he points out.
In the cases of drivers who failed alcohol tests, theywere fined. This group tended to be particularly young people, aged between 18 and 30. OPP1 Museremu advised that during the final two weeks of December 2014, road security police obtained 3,000,000 to 6,000,000 BIF infinesfor traffic related misbehaviors, and non-conformities, including those found to not be in possession of required vehicle and driver documentation.
He concluded that the traffic police and road security is striving to ensure security on roads: “We assume that everyone who use roads are aware ofthe road code. Also, we have been trying to target especially bicycle taxi and motorbike taxi drivers by teaching them the road code because we have become aware that it is frequently this group who cause accidents, due to poor knowledge of road codes.