Rwanda's Road-Safety Transformation: Ten Years Ago Rwanda Had One of the Worst Road-Safety Records in the World. but Once the Government Recognized That Making Roads Safer Could Help with the Rehabilitation of a Nation Traumatized by the 1994 Genocide, Its Efforts Have Won International Acclaim

By Brown, Hannah | Bulletin of the World Health Organization, June 2007 | Go to article overview

Rwanda's Road-Safety Transformation: Ten Years Ago Rwanda Had One of the Worst Road-Safety Records in the World. but Once the Government Recognized That Making Roads Safer Could Help with the Rehabilitation of a Nation Traumatized by the 1994 Genocide, Its Efforts Have Won International Acclaim


Brown, Hannah, Bulletin of the World Health Organization


Christmas 2006 was a special event in Rwanda. Just a decade after being ranked as one of the worst countries for road safety, Rwanda's police force watched over the country's first accident-free festive season, a time for reckless driving in many countries.

This transformation has been far from easy to achieve, however. A World Bank situation report, commissioned in 1996, concluded that one accident was taking place every two and a half hours on Rwanda's roads, almost all of which left people injured and 10% of which resulted in deaths.

Urban centres, such as the capital Kigali, saw frequent violent collisions, sometimes because drivers refused to respect others' right of way, according to Dominique Rurangirwa, who works on transport and road safety in Rwanda's Ministry of Infrastructure. Night-times were particularly hazardous "because of the excess speed resulting generally from alcohol consumption," he recalled. In rural areas, where roads are in a far worse condition than those in urban centres, drivers regularly went too fast to maintain control on the uneven carriageway surface.

Rurangirwa said the number of road deaths in Rwanda for a country of some nine million people was found by the World Bank to be among the world's highest in 1996.

But, according to Rurangirwa, the severity of the situation also presented an opportunity. "After the genocide which plunged Rwanda into mourning in 1994, the country knew that one method of rehabilitation was [improving] its road infrastructure, which was damaged during the genocide, leading to many road traffic deaths," he explained.

The 1996 World Bank report echoed this view that Rwanda's incentive for improving road safety was about moving the country forward from responding to a humanitarian crisis after the genocide to efforts focused on development, of which improving infrastructure and road safety were key parts. The desire for post-genocide rehabilitation and development were the major factors behind the big push on road safety.

After reviewing the World Bank situation report, the Rwandan government started a new road-safety programme, financed by the World Bank, and embarked on a complete revision of the country's laws on road conduct. Ministers re-examined the regulations governing the traffic police and the requirements for drivers, consulting widely among transport stakeholders, including unions and regular road users. "We also spoke to pedestrians, in particular the schoolboys and students, to make sure that we consulted at the level of communities," said Rurangirwa.

New regulations, which started to be strictly enforced after 2001, included mandatory wearing of seatbelts, speed limits, vehicle inspections to ensure standards of roadworthiness and limits on blood-alcohol concentrations. These legislative changes were followed up in 2003 by a public awareness campaign and a law introducing further penalties for lack of seatbelt use or failure to wear helmets on motorcycles.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Since 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been working with the Rwandan government to help raise community awareness of road safety, according to WHO Country Health Information Officer Jean Busco Gasherebuka. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Rwanda's Road-Safety Transformation: Ten Years Ago Rwanda Had One of the Worst Road-Safety Records in the World. but Once the Government Recognized That Making Roads Safer Could Help with the Rehabilitation of a Nation Traumatized by the 1994 Genocide, Its Efforts Have Won International Acclaim
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.