The Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) is contemplating the inclusion of traffic rules in the academic curriculum offered at schools, aiming to contribute to the reduction of road accidents in the country.
Rwanda National Police has highlighted the importance of teaching traffic rules as a subject in schools, emphasizing its potential to mitigate road accidents.
Gaspard Twagirayezu, the Minister of State in Charge of Primary and Secondary Education at MINEDUC, acknowledged that discussions regarding the implementation of this initiative have taken place. However, conclusive decisions are yet to be made as several factors need to be carefully considered.
“This program would benefit children, whether they enter the workforce or complete their education. However, comprehensive discussions are needed to determine the execution, timeline, and the individuals responsible for delivering these lessons,” he stated.
Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, the spokesperson for the Rwanda National Police (RNP), told The New Times that introducing traffic rules education at a young age would help Rwandans learn and adhere to these rules, ultimately promoting safer and more responsible driving habits.
CP Kabera further emphasized that integrating traffic rules into the curriculum could significantly reduce accidents and reckless driving incidents on the roads.
In December 2022, the Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, and Security reported that the country witnesses an average of two road fatalities per day, with the death toll escalating each year.
According to the study, over 4,000 accidents were recorded in 2020. In 2021, the number surged to 8,639 accidents, and in 2022, more than 8,600 accidents were reported.
The study also revealed that 687 road fatalities occurred in 2020. In 2021, the number of lives lost due to road crashes reached 655, while in 2022, it stood at 629.
Road traffic accidents remain the leading cause of death among children and young adults aged between 5 and 29 years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO report indicates that each year, more than 1.3 million lives are cut short globally due to road traffic crashes, with 20 to 50 million people suffering non-fatal injuries that often result in disabilities.
The report also highlights that males, starting from a young age, are more susceptible to road traffic accidents than females.
“Approximately 73 percent of all road traffic deaths occur among young males under the age of 25, who are almost three times more likely to be killed in a road traffic crash than young females,” the report states.