When choosing to visit for a safari or business holiday, you are most likely to opt for a self drive trip while getting around the beautiful land of Thousand Hills. However, it requires keen attention and observation of the traffic road signs. Most of these road signs are placed in a visible environment where you are able to boldly see them standing by the roadside throughout the routes you encounter. The usefulness of the road signs is that they offer you with clear instructions and information to enable you to stay safe on your self drive in Rwanda. Most uniquely about Rwanda is that driving is on the right-hand side, unlike other East African countries you are most likely to visit, such as Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya. The main traffic road signs that are useful for every road user are divided into 3 sections of; regulatory, warning signs and information.
Below are some of the useful road signs that you need to keenly observe while on a self drive in Rwanda;
Speed Limit Notifier
The first and common sign you will notice on your self drive in Rwanda is the speed limit sign. This traffic signage is one of the most valuable traffic control signs that are used mainly to control the speed in which vehicles have to take off in specific road stretches. These road signs are set each hour and they are distinct in the limit based on the place that you will take. They are set forth by national and regional traffic police of Rwanda and they have to be observed keenly so as to safeguard you from various troubles on the road.
This is another significant traffic road sign which alerts drivers that they have stop and ensure that there is no vehicle that is coming through prior continuing to the main route. Stop signs can be sighted at the road junctions. Upon arrival at the main road; make sure that there is no car coming before you cross. Enjoy a safe self drive in Rwanda while observing these signs.
This is called give way sign which is set to show that a driver must slow down or stop where the need is to pave way for the other person to continue and this leads to yielding the right to that vehicle. Yield signs normally can be sighted around junctions and roundabouts. As soon as you get to this area, you must pave the way to any car on the main road ahead. Never continue into the major route until you are very sure that it is now safe for you to pass.
Most travelers also tend to confuse these however, the traffic lights come in three varied colors-red, yellow and green and each of them stands for its own meaning. The red light is a stop sign and all vehicles must observe this instruction, the yellow is also known as amber light warns drivers that the lights are almost changing to red and so be prepared and lastly the green light permits you to continue with your journey following the direction indicated.
You will also come across this sign which comes in black and white stripes which are like that at zebra coat marked on the surface of the road. The zebra crossing signifies rights of way to the pedestrians. Upon arrival at the zebra crossing sign, you must make a stop to let pedestrians cross the road then after you also continue your way. In case you fail to observe these signs, you might fall a culprit of road accidents and injuries which spoils your experience in the destination.
Men at work sign
This is a temporary warning sign that is used to inform drivers that there is road work ahead of you so please slow down. This sign is always brightly colored for easy recognition by drivers. This sign is particularly put to warn against careless driving among travelers and once you get to this point you are supposed to slow down and take good analysis as in most cases the road can be very narrow.
No U-turn sign
This sign always comes in a curved arrow which indicates a U-turn and a bold restriction symbol cutting cross. It shows that the driver won’t change direction to which they are taking to the opposite direction in that specific place. The U-turn sign needs to be followed and in case you fail to observe it you are likely to cause accidents and this will lead to the destruction of cars, injuries and even loss of lives.
Emergency car warning signs
This can be rarely sighted, however, it is one of the most significant warning signs. It warns drivers especially on emergency cars which are coming by and an example can be from the fire stations, ambulances from hospitals and other emergency vehicles which could be joining the road. Upon arrival at this place, you are advised to refrain from pulling over and keep the road clear for the emergency vehicles to proceed and then you continue later.
Most people love overtaking but this sign stands to control this kind of behavior as it is very risky and dangerous. You will find this sign along the bends and in hilly areas. This limitation ends when the lines in the road change to a broken white line from a continuous white line. In case you do not respect these signs, you will have committed a severe crime in Rwanda or Uganda as this can also result in road accidents.
This road sign is a regulatory sign set to limit drivers from parking in particular areas unless you are just dropping or picking up someone or goods and this should also be performed not more than 5 minutes. Parking vehicles in the restricted areas is risky as you will be penalized and you can be knocked by other cars.
In conclusion, with the above road signs, we believe taking a self drive excursion in Rwanda will be safe on your side only if you fully observe them.