EDITOR: As I continuously monitor the traffic situation on Uganda's highways I decry the behaviour of drivers on roads. It is true that one of the major causes of accidents is narrow roads which do not facilitate proper separation of traffic moving in opposite directions, making overtaking risky.
However, due to the state of our economy we may not have wider roads in the near future and so we need to utilise what we have as safely as possible.
Even in developed economies like Italy, the highway that links Turin to Milan is a single carriageway but this does not result in traffic accidents. Driver behaviour characterised by impatience and carelessness, is the single biggest factor that leads to so many accidents on our roads. Driving along the Northern Bypass in Kampala,
I have observed a tendency that has become driving culture in Uganda. It is common for an impatient driver of a vehicle behind to flash lights into the mirrors of the driver in front either asking them to move faster or to get out of the way in order for the car behind to overtake.
This is not acceptable. It is the same case when a car overtakes another and while in the wrong lane, flashes lights at an oncoming vehicle asking them to slow down so they can overtake! Drivers are supposed to be patient and should only overtake when they confirm there is enough space to manoeuver and when it is safe to do so.
Overtaking should not in any way inconvenience other drivers on the road. This style of driving has become a habit in Uganda and is the leading cause of accidents on our roads.
It is clear that reckless overtaking and speeding is the major cause of accidents on our roads. People should therefore learn to exercise extra caution when overtaking both at straight sections of the roads and much more at bends where it is difficult to see oncoming traffic. The Ministry of Transport and the Uganda National Roads Authority should not only build roads but should also seriously ensure traffic safety and not leave it to Police alone.
We should have constant campaigns in the media about proper driving behaviour if we want to stop the carnage on our roads.
I appreciate speed governors were once introduced but later failed to be operationalised. I still do not understand why we cannot buy vehicles which are designed to have a speed limit of 100kph.
Stephen Nyende Byakika
We need constant campaigns on proper driving behaviour