By Violet Nabatanzi
Police is targeting to reduce road traffic accidents in the country by 50 percent by the year 2020, the director in charge of traffic and road safety has disclosed.
Dr. Steven Kasiima says “the reduction should go up to 50 percent, like what the UN global action plan requires member countries to do”.
According to the 2013 Annual Crime Report, there was a seven percent reduction in road traffic accidents compared to 11 percent in 2012. Some 3400 people died in road traffic accidents in 2011.
Speaking during the launch of the road safety education programme by VIVO Energy Uganda on Thursday, Kasiima said the police have started sensitizing primary school children on road safety messages.
“We have been sensitizing boda-boda riders, truck drivers and tax drivers but now we want to sensitize primary schools,” he said.
“We want to see the impact at the end of the year – of whether sensitizing primary schools can bring a positive impact.
He added: “We need one hour per primary school to sensitize them on the advantages of wearing helmets, how to put on seatbelts and how to cross the roads”
The managing director Vivo Energy Uganda, Hans Paulsen, said his company has partnered with the traffic police, schools and Safe Kids Uganda to train 1200 school children and 1200 Bodaboda operators with road safety messages.
Paulsen talked of plans to also reach out to five million people with the same message on radio programmes.
“School children are the drivers of tomorrow. Training 100 scholars from 12 schools is an important step towards building a robust road safety culture in Uganda,” said the MD.
Among the selected schools for this year’s training include Greenhill Academy, Sunrise primary school, Busega preparatory school, Makerere University primary school, Light house, St Benedict, Bat Valley, Kitante and Kireka church of Uganda.
Kibuye Primary school and Yudeesi primary school will also feature.