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Impunity, obstinacy and arrogance responsible for road crashes

By Admin

Added 16th September 2019 12:56 PM

Road traffic accidents or crushes as they are technically termed, do not come out of the blue; over 85% are man-made or blatantly put, are due to uncouth, uncultured, obstinate, pig-headed human behavior on the road.

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Road traffic accidents or crushes as they are technically termed, do not come out of the blue; over 85% are man-made or blatantly put, are due to uncouth, uncultured, obstinate, pig-headed human behavior on the road.

OPINION

By Dr Myers Lugemwa

Fare thee well all the fifty or so brothers and sisters that found their demise just in the last one month of August 2019 while plying our Ugandan roads as passengers, pedestrians or victims of circumstances.

The Mbarara-Kasese road in Rubirizi involving a fuel tanker in which some people found their way to their Maker as a result of being engulfed in the inferno as they tried to make quick bucks from gasoline as it drenched the nearby soils, the Y.Y buses on the Kampala-Mbale road, the Global bus on the infamous Kampala–Masaka road were infamous during the period in question among others.

As we continue to pray for the souls of all these people that have demised during the period in question to rest in eternal peace and for a quick recovery for those nursing the injuries afflicted under the same vein, we also need to entreaty God into not letting our country continue like this!

Road traffic accidents or crushes as they are technically termed, do not come out of the blue; over 85% are man-made or blatantly put, are due to uncouth, uncultured, obstinate, pig-headed human behavior on the road.

Ten percent is due to motor vehicle (MV) condition while the remaining percentage is due to the motor way-the road. I will put, weather and environment least on the list because in countries where winter and fog prevail, man employs that substance in the head called brain to overcome these natural obstacles.

Put simply, and given the fact that man is the living thing in the equation with a brain and ability to control the vehicle by ensuring that the same is in good mechanical condition, that if the road is not worth overtaking or over speeding on, that the environment or weather conditions are rough, then man is the first culprit in the equation of causation of RTAs.

And this is over 90% due to impunity, Obstinacy, and Arrogance that is embedded in his head. If not due to these three human behavioral elements, why did accidents plummet when Fika Salama was very active from August 2017 when it made its debut on Kampala-Masaka and other major roads?

Is not impunity that a bus driver overtakes three or more MVs in a no-overtake zone? Is it not arrogance that a driver thinks that he is driving a monster that over small car owners are not roadworthy?

Is not obstinacy when one rides a boda boda without a helmet or without both head and rear lamps 24 hours as required by law? Why should one cross a road two meters away from the pedestrian crossing moreover on their phone on “what’s up”?

Is it not arrogance for one to go beyond the stipulated speed limit on our relatively poor narrow roads like Gaaga, Global, Y.Y, and other buses? Where did we, as country end with speed governors? At 100kms/hour, you remind me of Jim Reeves’s song of “…..this world is not my home I am just passing through” At 120 kms/hour, the Christian hymn “….Near my God to thee, near to thee” comes into play.

Beyond 140 kms/hour, the Luganda hymn “Amaze emirimo gye….” is Inviting you to sing it.  Without re-inventing the wheel, and based on the High Way Code, let us do the following:

Check the mechanical condition of the vehicle prior to commencing on any errand

Fasten your belt and not wait to see the police and put on because it is not meant for the police but your safety.

Wear a head helmet whether ridder or passenger on boda boda

Wear reflective material (jacket, shoes, shirt, budge, etc.) if walking at night,

Observe traffic rules on the road and always consider that other road users are insane

Do not talk on the phone while crossing the road.

Shout out if the driver of the PSV you are travelling in is reckless, arrogant, obstinate or exhibiting impunity.

But also the country should invest more in road safety than ever before because it is its  countrymen and women who are getting annihilated without putting over 10% of the country’s annual budget as collateral damage in the equation.

The writer is the former chairperson of the National Road Safety Council

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