An exercise initiated by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority in an effort to reduce the numbers of road carnage required all taxi motors to install GPS devices. In the last year, 2018, about 18.5 percent of the recorded 162 road carnages were recorded according to police reports with 254 cases of serious injuries registered over that same period.
The Head of Transport Regulation Department at RURA, Asaba Katabarwa pointed out while speaking to The New Times that it will be easier to monitor the over 30,000 commercial motorcyclists. This would be made possible by using the new devices to check reckless riding which is one of the major accident cause in Rwanda.
He further explained that this new technology would definitely have a positive impact as it would help the law enforcers to monitor illegal reckless behaviors of motorcyclists. In addition to that, it would also aid in finding of the offenders as they would access information about them easily. He also noted that the use of the device would greatly change the rider’s mentality with the realization that they were being monitored by law enforcers and they would be caught upon flotation of the law. Reports from Federation of Taxi Moto Operators indicate that already above 2,000 commercial motorcycles have already been fitted with the GPS in Kigali City. The GPS devices would also be useful in cases of motorbike theft
Katabarwa also revealed they will not provide deadlines due to the high population of motorcycles but they are dedicated to pushing for the end of the exercise in the least time possible. The same companies with the ability to install such technology on vehicles were already licensed to do the same for motorcycles with the activity that started in the city expected to pour out in other parts of Rwanda.
According to the spokesperson of RURA, Tony Karumba the technology is not only purposed to help in tracking but also aid in pricing fares with distances covered by passengers. Explained by Gilbert Twagirumukiza, a Pascal Technology technician which is among the firms charged with commercial motorcycles installation with the GPS devices. The company receives the message first on everything happening on the motorbike, then the moto is stopped automatically and the owner is made aware of the problem. If a moto’s designated geographical area is limited operation within Kigali if a rider goes beyond this area the taxi moto will automatically stop and inform the owner that he or she is beyond the area of operation. This company has already installed 300 GPS devices on motorcycles.
In efforts to encourage the new technology adoption, the Rwanda Federation of Taxi Moto Operators (Ferwacotamo) customer care and data manager Albert Ntwari insisted on the public to accept this move as it would help in enforcing discipline. He also asked those who have already fitted their bikes with the GPS gadget to give a testimony to their colleagues on the importance of this technology.