Since its entry in the East African Community (EAC) Rwanda has been on the frontier of adapting to standards of the community and the country is now on the move of shift traffic rules from the right hand to the left hand drive.
The Deputy Director General of Rwanda Bureau of Standards, Patrice Ntiyamira says that already a number of studies have been launched to aid the proposed traffic transition process of changing driving sides.
Ntiyamira made the remarks during the 17th East African Standards Committee (EASC) meeting which brought the heads of National Standards Bodies from the five East African Community Member states.
The issue of conflicting road and traffic regulations in the five EAC member states was among the topics being discussed in the EASC meeting whose sessions are being held behind closed doors. The rest of the EAC member states use the left hand side except for Rwanda and Burundi.
As a French colony, Rwanda has for decades been accustomed to the right hand drive and importing left hand drive cars. The new move will see lots of changes on road signs, the need to educate the road users and pedestrians.
Motorists in Rwanda believe that the changes will be good and will enable the country to harmonise the required EAC standards, however state that the process has been relatively slow.
Ahmed Salim, a trucker driver who crosses the EAC countries twice a week, says that “a uniform driving standard will enable motorist to be more careful and attentive to road safety. When the standards differ you find that there is negligence and forgetfulness on the drivers’ part, thus causing accidents”
The changes in driving standards are also expected to have an impact on Rwanda’s car model imports. Since Rwanda has banned use of left-hand drive cars in the recent years. If Rwanda lifts the ban, there is more possibility that car deals will be much affordable.