Sunday 23 January 2022
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newtimes - 10 days ago

What are compensation procedures when a motorist knocks a ‘Sophia’?

On Tuesday, January, 11, a driver knocked and severely damaged one of the speed-monitoring cameras (Poliscan Speed Lidar-Radar-Tower) on the streets of Kigali. Information from Traffic Police indicates that the driver in question did not sustain serious injuries and has already been discharged from King Faisal Hospital where he had been admitted. The accident occurred between Rwandex and the roundabout at Kanogo when the vehicle, a Toyota Prado lost the way and knocked and uprooted the speed camera planted in the road. No other person was injured. Questions regarding what fines the driver will have to pay, and how the case will be handled in general have been asked by many people in the aftermath of the accident. This is especially since the speed cameras, which many have christened Sophia after the globally famous humanoid robot, are relatively new on the Rwandan roads. In an interview with The New Times on Wednesday, January 12, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) René Irere, the spokesperson of police’s Traffic and Road Safety Department said this was an ordinary case, adding that the usual insurance compensation procedures will be followed. “It is just like the other accidents we see on our roads. There is nothing special,” he said. “Normal procedures will be followed. Police will assess and establish the cause of the accident among other details, and then compile the file and submit it to the driver’s insurance company to process the compensation,” he said. Dan Gumisiriza, a Senior Claims Analyst at MUA Insurance told The New Times that the “third party liability insurance” which is mandatory for every car in Rwanda covers 100 percent of such damages. This means that the company where the vehicle is insured will have to replace the camera. “What we do is that we appoint an assessor who visits the damaged facility, examines it and confirms the amount of money that will be needed to restore it to the condition in which it was before the accident,” he said. “This is perhaps the first case where a speed-monitoring camera on the street has been damaged, but still, the same procedures will be followed. If for example, the camera was damaged beyond repair, a new one has to be bought. But if it is repairable, then it has to be repaired,” he added. Efforts to establish the cost of the camera were futile by press time. However, upon the introduction of these cameras in Germany a few years ago, manufacturers said the system cost around $115, 000. However, the prices must have gone down after they made sales and covered the money they had invested in research and development costs.


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