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Wednesday,June 20,2018 12:49 PM

A driving permit is not the most vital

By Vision Reporter

Added 14th October 2009 03:00 AM

EDITOR—Prof Ogenga Latigo has just survived death in a grizzly accident caused by a head-on collision. The Police as usual have been called and as usual will rush to start looking for driving permits.

EDITOR—Prof Ogenga Latigo has just survived death in a grizzly accident caused by a head-on collision. The Police as usual have been called and as usual will rush to start looking for driving permits. I am sure the drivers of the two vehicles had driving permits. So what caused the accidents? Who is safe on Uganda’s roads and what are permits for?

Just look at the many trailers and buses that keep overturning and killing people on our highways! Would someone surely drive these monsters all the way from Mombasa to come and overturn them in Iganga and all we say is “driving permits”? How I wish we could be a little more professional!

Experts say it is not speed that kills but the state of the vehicle and the state of mind of the driver that causes accidents. The condition of the vehicle is very important and so is the mind of the driver. Is the person behind the wheel anxious, annoyed, tired, sleepy, stressed or is he on drugs—both medical and narcortic?

The medical condition of the driver includes sight and fatigue. Share my accident experience in my personal car. Once I crashed into a Police road-block knocking down their sign post in Iganga.

When I was arrested the Police immediately asked for my driving permit. On investigation, they discovered that there were three drivers in the car who were family members. When they asked if I cared about my life and the people in the car, I told them I was a health professional who cared for more lives, including accident victims.

In the car was my family which I had at heart. None of us in the car was drunk but we had been from errands of dropping children to different schools. I hit that road-block at midnight heading to Tororo. What am I saying? After driving the whole day, it did not matter that I had a permit. This accident was associated with how I had spent my day.

I left Tororo at 4.00am to drop children in different schools in Kampala and was stressed by the schools. I crashed into the road-block at midnight trying to reach home. I must say I was handled professionally by these policemen although I was asked to part with a fee for the repair of the signpost I had destroyed. I was advised to let any of my colleagues take over the wheel since we wanted to be in Tororo after midnight and alive.

Our so-called drivers operate under similar conditions. each time a police officer stops them on the roads, a driving permit does not explain the history of the day.

All night clubs and bars in Malaba, Tororo, and Naluwerere operate late in the night and 95% of the customers are drivers! Whoever hangs out late in the night has a car or is a driver of some sort. Long distance drivers also attend these places. We should learn from pilots whose flight hours are taken into account. Their physical, mental and general health are also important factors before a flight.
James William Mugeni
Tororo

A driving permit is not the most vital

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