When the country had a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, tighter measures were put in place. One of them is the curfew extension by two hours from 9pm to 7pm until 5am.
Although amends were made by the public and private sectors for people to be home before 7pm, traffic jam is at the climax from 6pm until past 7pm.
This was also the case before when movements were allowed up to 9pm.
This has led to an increase in road accidents, according to the road security report by the Traffic and Road Safety department, because some people and motorists in particular, are always late and they try to rush to be home in time.
The report shows that 1826 road accidents happened between March and August this year, with 744 of them registered during the last hour.
This means that 40.7 percent of the accidents happened in one hour against 59.3 that happened in 16 hours.
Rwanda National Police spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera says whoever waits until 6pm or later to start their journey risks being caught up with time and in most cases use the road recklessly racing against time, putting their lives and those of other road users in danger.
“We see reckless drivers when it’s coming towards 7pm, and as the numbers show, this has increased accidents; it’s not the time that cause accidents but individual bad choices and reckless use of road trying to beat time.
You don’t have to learn the hard way, after inappropriate planning and starting your journey when it’s too late influencing you to speed, which can lead to accidents that might even be fatal,” CP Kabera said.
He added: “You have all the time from 5am to take care of your businesses, so there shouldn’t be an excuse as to why one didn’t make it in time.”
“Most cases that we record of people who are not home by 7pm are those who are from visiting friends or families and forget about the time, or those who attend prohibited gatherings. These visits and social gatherings are prohibited. Nonetheless, whatever legal thing you are doing, you have to be home by 7pm, unless you have special exception authorised by a relevant entity.”
He added that this should be done together with abiding by other recommended safety and prevention measures which include proper wearing of facemask, washing hands, keeping distance, avoiding shaking hands or any body contact, embracing cashless payment systems, among others.
Directives issued by City of Kigali on the penalization of people, who violate COVID-19 prevention measures stipulate that whoever violates curfew will face a penalty of Rwf10,000, and will be taken to allocated centres for not more than 24 hours for better enlightenment on the COVID-19 prevention practices.