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Road safety still a challenge

By Nelson Kiva

Added 22nd December 2017 04:11 PM

Police reports indicate that on average, 9,000 people died in road accidents in the last three years in Uganda.

With road accidents approximately costing Uganda sh.1.8 trillion about 2-3% of the total GDP every year, interventions by both government agencies and non-state actors, appear to tighten to outdo the trends.


The road safety situation in Uganda continues to be a challenge with a number of factors that account for the relatively high road carnage and increasing incidents on major highways.


The director of traffic police, Dr. Stephen Kasiima, attributes them to drivers’ indiscipline, vehicles in poor state of repair (DMCs) weaknesses in the enforcement of Traffic laws and regulations among others.


Police reports indicate that on average, 9,000 people died in road accidents in the last three years in Uganda.


According to the ministry of works and transport report published in Sept, 2017, at least 10 people die in road accidents every day with boda boda ridders classified as the leading causers and most of them being  head on collusion.


According to statistics from the Traffic and Road Safety Department, more than half of the accidents in the country take place in Kampala Metropolitan Area. This is because of high vehicle and human population.


Kasiima suggests that infrastructure developments such as roads undertaken by both central and local governments should uphold traffic standards.


This week he told participants in the workshop about road safety at hotel Africana in Kampala: “roads should have well-constructed junctions, traffic lights, in case of urban areas, established walk ways, humps, traffic signs to warn of corners, bridges, escarpments, among others.”


“Many pedestrians are being knocked dead by motorists, just because they have to compete with  heavy tracks, small cars and motor cycles, bicycles on the road, because walkways are nowhere to be seen,” he stressed.
For instance in the wee hours of Monday morning, the traffic operations in the city outskirts of Kabalagala, Old Kampala, over 100 drivers were apprehended in breach of traffic rules.


The officer in charge of traffic police Makindye division, Apollo Sirvasco, said many of the drivers were victims of drink-driving, while many others lacked permits.
He reported that police had intensified operations to minimize cases of road accidents which tend to shoot up during festive periods.


“Our officers have been deployed on the roads, both in the city, high ways and other roads to enforce traffic rules, with many being apprehended and penalized over drink-driving, lack of driving permits, among others to secure Ugandans during the festive period,” he said.


Kasiima accounted that the heightened Fika Salama operations very popular on Kampala-Masaka road among other high ways have since seen over 50,000 drivers arrested, prosecuted or penalized.


Ministry of Works and Transport.
Winston Katushabe, the commissioner for transport regulations and safety, in the ministry of works and transport, said that the ministry has since joined practical and advocacy interventions to avert the road carnage trends.


Ronald Amanyire, secretary National Road Safety Council in the ministry said, vehicles in dangerous mechanical condition (DMCs) contributed greatly to road carnage in the country.


He disclosed that the ministry was intensifying vehicle inspection, an intervention targeting at reduced road accidents by 2020.


Kampala City.
The Kampala Capital City Authority, spokesperson, Peter Kawuju, said, under Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project (KIIDP-2), all the newly constructed roads, junctions are designed with walkways, traffic lights and street lights to ensure road safety.


‘’With proper drainage, street lights, walkways, street furniture, landscaping, the accidents in the city would be minimized ‘’ Kawuju explained.


He added: “roads such as fairway, Mambule, Kira, Makerere, are constructed on International standards, with walk ways among other advantages to give pedestrian confidence of being free from knocks by motorists.”


Kawujju explained that KCCA planned to upgrade about 92km of roads and also install traffic lights at major road junctions, to improve urban mobility.

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