UPC calls for road safety audits

By Faith Amongin

Added 24th July 2017 01:37 PM

A total of 223 people perished in road accidents countrywide between the months of May and June

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UPC spokesperson Michael Osinde. Photo by Nancy Nanyonga

A total of 223 people perished in road accidents countrywide between the months of May and June

Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has asked government to ensure that Road Safety Audits (RSA) are carried out on all major roads including those that are being planned in a bid to reduce the number of road accidents that have claimed many lives. 

A Road Safety Audit is an evaluation of a highway improvement scheme during design, at the end of construction and post-construction, to identify road safety problems and to suggest measures to eliminate or mitigate any concerns. 

Audits are undertaken by teams of specialists trained in the skills of collision investigation and engineering. These aim to identify potential road safety hazards arising from planned changes to the road. 

“Road accidents have now become a daily issue as we have seen them being reported in the media. This can be explained by the higher number of vehicles on the road, more roads having been built and wider media availability,” said Michael Osinde, the party spokesperson. 

“The RSAs are mandatory in most countries around the world and if we are targeting middle income status, we should be conducting our affairs in a manner that implies we as a nation serious about achieving that goal,” he added. 

Recent statistics from Police show that a total of 223 people perished in road accidents countrywide between the month of May and June. 

This was according to traffic police spokesperson Charles Ssebambulidde last month during a press conference at the Police headquarters in Naguru. 

Ssebambulidde attributed the major cause of these accidents to motorists who do not respect the right of way for pedestrians especially in Kampala Metropolitan area which covers the districts of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso. 

Of the 223 people killed in road accidents, 85 were pedestrians. No formal report has been released yet by Police for the years 2015 and 2016. 

Meanwhile the party also wants government to register with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) which seeks good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources. Uganda has discovered 6.5 billion barrels of oil in the Albertine graben. 

Osinde said that this is because ever since the government initiated the process of extracting oil in Bunyoro, there has been scanty reliable information in the public domain about the progress of oil exploration which has allowed speculation to build publicly that oil is being secretly extracted. 

“The discovery of oil is a blessing to our country, but as acknowledged worldwide, it can also become a curse if mishandled. Achieving a middle income status in future is a defined goal of the government. Therefore, our oil represents an opportunity that must be changed effectively and responsibly,” he added.

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