Why I called him, Mr Traffic policeman!


 

We come from different backgrounds, is a phrase people refer when defending why they act or think in their own ways. No wonder our past black history describes it all, so I stand corrected if I mention a history that we many not have shared.

Growing up in one of Africa’s many countries whose name I will not mention. As a child, there are incidences that would perpetually pass through my eyes and unknowingly refer them to be the norm.

Here comes the first incidence, whenever I would travel with my grandfather in his car, he could occasionally be stopped by a traffic policeman. He would immediately check his pockets for some notes. Not from a folded hand but flashy notes would be passed through the car’s door window to the traffic policeman as one does make deposits on a bank’s counter.

Without any question or checks the policeman would say “Have a good day” and my grandfather would ignite the car and continue our journey. Accidentally, we would be stopped by more than 3 times which meant 3 similar “deposits”, but usually 2 such stop overs would be made before reaching our destination.

Being a teenager, I respected whatever old people did, and above all, my grandfather’s actions were always regarded as laws to me. Within my thinking, I was absolutely convinced that, a traffic policeman is usually positioned on road sides to collect money from drivers. Whether it is still the same back in that country, I don’t know, but I pray it did change.

Here is why I decided to call the Rwandan traffic policeman, Mr Traffic Policeman. With him, things are much different; he challenged my prior childhood assumption of what the duties of a traffic policeman were. Through a naked eye’s evidence he verified to me, that his role is to;

  • Maintain safety on the road

24hours a day 7 days a week, you will find Mr Traffic Policeman every about 3KM of all Kigali streets and about 30KM of all countrywide highways. Mr Traffic Policeman does not collect deposits like I grow up seeing but he once in while stops drivers to check their tyres, indicators and offer advice on speed limits.

  • Instruct driving permit exams

Every end of month, Mr Traffic Policeman goes next to football stadiums to offer driving permit exams and thereafter do the marking.

  • Drive you when you are too drunk to drive

Come the weekends, when people have had fun, Mr Traffic Policeman positions himself next to your hangout so that he safely drives you, when you are too drunk to drive.

  • Solve accidental disputes

He immediately appears in events of accidents to solve disputes, take measurements and rush whoever is injured to the hospital. Guess what, Mr Traffic Policeman immediately turns into a medical doctor and treats the patient at his hospital next to the American Embassy in Kaciru.

  • Guide you around town

Not just the drivers, pedestrians are also guided by Mr Traffic Policeman of their whereabouts in the city. You will occasionally by pass his dark blue pickup carrying say; a parent who has left the village in search of his working son or daughter without proper addresses.

  • Track stolen vehicles

Mr Traffic Policeman also tracks stolen vehicles not just within Rwanda since stealing a car and keeping it in Rwanda is practically impossible. He offers coordinated tracking with his counterpart neighbors to make sure you repossess your car.

  • Spearhead community work

Mr Traffic Policeman spearheads Umuganda and other communal activities. He also once in while sends to you an SMS about his news.

 

e-VisitingMr Traffic Policeman on his e-home (www.police.gov.rw), lives you in astonishment of who Mr Traffic Policeman is, for real and not my childhood myth. Did you know that for the services he provides, he does not charge you any fee because through Rwanda Revenue Authority you already did, Mr Traffic Policeman believes.

 

JovaniNtabgoba

 

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