Parliament held a special session on Tuesday in honour of Isingiro Woman MP Vicky Kyaaka Kyokuhairwa, who died in a motor accident on the Masaka-Kampala highway at Buwama last Friday.
As fate would have it, another MP, Henry Banyenzaki, was mourning the loss of three sisters and a brother-in-law who perished in yet another grisly accident in Ntungamo.
In the latter accident, a Fuso truck crashed into a Rav 4 car, which had been parked by the roadside in Rubaale.
As we get into the festive season, this trend is particularly worrying. How many more people must die before the Government can take firm action to end the carnage on our roads. In May 2004, Parliament lost former Speaker Francis Ayume to yet another accident on the Gulu-Kampala highway.
Several other high-profile people have died in road accidents. That is not to say that the thousands of ordinary people who die in these accidents do not matter. On the contrary, it is usually after a high-profile person dies that measures aimed at curbing road accidents are stepped up. This should be an ongoing process, there is no reason the Police should let its guard down on safety requirements. They should ensure that all motorists abide by the traffic law.
For every careful driver on the road, there are hundreds of other reckless drivers on that same road. As a result, many careful drivers and their passengers have been killed by this army of errant and reckless drivers.
As a law-making body, Parliament needs to rise to the occasion by formulating and passing the relevant legislation aimed at protecting all road users. The existing laws are not punitive enough to make reckless driving a costly affair.
Often, under the existing traffic laws, an errant driver can be let off the hook after paying a sh20,000 fine or serving a one-month prison sentence.
This is a mockery of justice. In addition to having tougher regulation, the works ministry needs to ensure that roads are fixed and that lanes are properly marked. There is also need for driving schools to be regulated by the education ministry to ensure that standards are adhered to.
Radical action will end road carnage